People of almost any age can enjoy hobbies. A hobby offers a way to relax after periods of hard
work. Hobbies offer broadened areas of interest and ways to pass the time pleasantly. Hobbies can
be important in helping patients recover from physical or mental illness because they provide distractions from the patients' problems. For people who are ill or bedridden, hobbies offer fascinating ways to pass the time. Hobbies can also be an important form of occupational therapy.
In the past, hobbies were largely limited to the wealthy. The average person was too busy earning a living to find time to pursue a hobby. People today generally have more leisure time because of
higher incomes and improvements in working conditions. In addition, most people also live longer and retire from their jobs at an earlier age. To fill their free time, they often develop interests in
Kinds of hobbies
Almost any kind of leisure activity can become a hobby. Most hobbies fall into one of four general
categories, which may overlap. They are (1) the arts, (2) collecting, (3) handicrafts, and (4) games and sports.
The arts provide outlets for hobbyists with a special interest in such art forms as dancing, drama,
painting, graphic arts, and music. Each art form has many separate possibilities for a hobby. For example, music may include singing or playing an instrument. Painting offers the hobbyist a wide choice of materials, such as oil paints or water colors.
Collecting is probably the most widespread kind of hobby because almost anything can be collected. Stamps and coins are probably the most popular collected items. Hobbyists also collect such things
as autographs, comic books, costumes, and baseball cards.
Handicrafts attract hobbyists who can work skillfully with their hands. Many hobbyists engage in needlework activities, notably crocheting, needlepoint, knitting, and sewing. Hobbyists use kits to make model airplanes, boats, and trains. Using woodworking tools, they can create carvings,
furniture, and bowls. Other handicrafts include ceramics, metalworking, jewelry making, weaving, batik, and leatherworking.
Games and sports are popular with many hobbyists who enjoy competition, physical activity, and healthful exercise. Thousands of hobbyists take part in sports, such as bowling, fishing, mountain
climbing, skiing, and tennis. These sports give hobbyists the opportunity to display their individual skills and sportsmanship. Popular indoor games include bridge and other card games, backgammon, chess, and Monopoly.
Other hobbies. Electronics-related hobbies are becoming increasingly popular. Many hobbyists enjoy flying model airplanes by remote control or assembling and operating ham radios. Both young
people and adults have taken up computers as a hobby, frequently assembling computers from kits. Some people raise pets as a hobby. For many people, gardening and photography are rewarding hobbies.