The relationship between leisure activities and psychological resources that support a sustainable career: The role of leisure seriousness and work-leisure similarity

What they found: There’s a reason that research finds that Nobel prize winning scientists tend to have more hobbies than those who are good but not quite great scientists. In this study, they researchers looked at how leisure activity impacts our work. What they found is that leisure activity boosts work self-efficacy, potentially helping us perform better in our day jobs. But there was an important caveat. It wasn’t just about having a hobby, the impact of workplace self-efficacy was highest when people took their hobby serious and it was different enough from their actual work. In other words, if their hobby was too similar to their work, it actually hurt work self-efficacy.

What it means: Common advice tells us to get obsessed about something to be great at it. Be the football coach who only loves all things football. Well…research might point us in another direction. In this case, we need activities and hobbies that are different. Activities that allow us to turn our brains away from whatever it is we do during our day job. Diversify your experiences and pursuits.

The effect of acute sleep extension vs active recovery on post exercise recovery kinetics in rugby union players

What they found: In this study, researchers compared sleep versus easy aerobic activity (Think: an easy jog or bike ride for an athlete), in rugby athletes. They found that sleep extension had a faster recovery in cognitive performance, but aerobic activity led to quicker neuromuscular function and autonomic recovery.

So What? It’s important to note that this was a small study looking at a single nights sleep. But it does provide something novel and useful. If you need to get ready for game or big performance, of course you should prioritize sleep, but you shouldn’t neglect some easy aerobic exercise. Perhaps this is the reason why so many runners go for an easy shakeout jog the morning before a race?

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