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Would More People Visit Parks with Required Holidays?

A new report on social indicators from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows some evidence that a positive relationship exists between countries with required holiday or vacation leave and higher rates of leisure. See chart below.

Note that the U.S. is the only country studied by the OECD that does not have a required paid leave. According to the report (a bit technical), there is a…

…a positive correlation between levels of total annual leave (paid annual leave plus paid holidays) and residual leisure, which suggests that policies regulating holidays might be relatively successful. Additionally, when total annual leave is compared to the superior time-use measures of leisure…., the positive relationship still exists and indeed is somewhat stronger. Regulatory policy regarding paid holidays may be able to influence the amount of leisure that people have, although there are obvious cautions about necessarily reading a causal effect into the correlation.

Now, when it comes to leisure, there are many activities people in which to partake, mostly television viewing. But they also take part in playing sports, recreation and socializing — all of which can take place in parks. For those who are able to take holidays off, such as Memorial Day or Labor Day, a trip to the park is not an uncommon occurrence. For those working in hourly-wage jobs without paid holidays (usually the lowest wage positions), a trip to the park might be the low-cost option activity if a paid holiday did exist.

(The report mentioned above is available for download, and offers more insight into the world of leisure across the globe.)

3 Responses

  1. This makes a lot of sense, but I would also think that alternative work hours would also boost park usage. If you worked in the evening then you could get some great usage out of the parks during the day when the weather is beautiful and the sun is still out. I’m sure many people stay away after dark for a variety of reasons, and when you get out of work at 5 or 6pm then you really don’t get ready to do your work out or leisure until 7 or 8pm.

  2. Good point – how workplaces and work hours accommodate for recreation and leisure is an interesting area to look at also.

  3. Terrific post!! Will definitely visit again

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