GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (7): 1566-1580.doi: 10.11821/dlyj020180710

• Everyday Life Geography and Urban-Rural Leisure • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Urban residents’ leisure and subjective well-being: Evidences from Guangzhou, China

Xinrui WANG1,2(), Jiuxia SUN1,2()   

  1. 1. School of Tourism Management, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Center for Leisure, Tourism and Social Development, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2018-07-25 Revised:2019-04-15 Online:2019-07-20 Published:2019-07-12


With the development of social economy, leisure behavior of urban residents is changing. It is necessary to discuss the issue on urban residents’ leisure and well-being in modern China. Previous studies have explored the relationship between leisure and subject well-being from the perspectives of leisure participation and leisure satisfaction, but discussions on the mechanism between leisure and well-being have not reached a consensus conclusion, and should be further investigated. Leisure activities will inevitably involve leisure time and leisure space, however, most of the existing literature overlooked the influence of the objective factors. This paper expands the study of leisure and subjective well-being with the dimensions of time and space by establishing a structural equation model of “leisure and well-being”. Based on the structural equation model, this study analyzes the impacts of leisure time, leisure space, leisure participation and leisure satisfaction on the subjective well-being, by using the data of questionnaire survey in Guangzhou. The results show that both leisure participation and leisure satisfaction have significantly positive impacts on subjective well-being, which verifies both the activity theory and the need theory. Compared with leisure participation, leisure satisfaction has a greater impact on subjective well-being with a coefficient of 0.394. The results also show that both leisure time and leisure space are exogenous and have positive effects on leisure participation. More concentrated time and less time pressure will significantly improve leisure satisfaction and promote subjective well-being. Leisure space, including leisure places, facilities, environment and atmosphere are also important in leisure activities; however, leisure space does not show any direct impacts, but only indirect impacts on subjective well-being through leisure participation and leisure satisfaction. Thus, leisure participation and leisure satisfaction play intermediary roles in the relationship between leisure and well-being. The findings have important implications for promoting urban residents’ leisure behaviors and subjective well-being. First, considering the importance of leisure time, the government should implement the paid vacation system to improve leisure quality and subjective well-being of urban residents. Second, leisure space is greatly affected by the local culture and the unique characteristics of a city, and local government should emphasize its own leisure culture to enhance residents’ leisure participation. Last but not least, leisure is not equal to well-being, but can meet the individual’s needs in psychological, physical, social, aesthetic and other aspects. Thus, leisure industry should be further developed to improve residents’ leisure satisfaction and subjective well-being.

Key words: “leisure and well-being” model, leisure space, leisure time, leisure satisfaction, subjective well-being