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Flow activities as a route to living well with less

Isham, Amy, Gatersleben, Birgitta and Jackson, Tim (2018) Flow activities as a route to living well with less Environment and Behavior.

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Abstract

Research suggests that the excessive focus on the acquisition of material goods promoted by our consumer capitalist society may be detrimental to well-being. Current Western lifestyles, which promote unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, therefore risk failing to bring citizens the happiness they are striving for. Csikszentmihalyi (2004) suggested that engaging in challenging, flow-conducive activities is a means by which individuals can improve their well-being without substantially impacting the environment. In this paper we test this proposal by examining data concerning the daily experiences and well-being of 500 US families. We show that individuals who experience stronger characteristics of flow in their leisure activities tend to have greater momentary well-being and that those experiencing flow more frequently tend to report greater retrospective well-being. Moreover, a small negative relationship was found between an activity’s flow score and its environmental impact. The analysis allows us to identify a specific group of activities that are highly conducive to the experience of flow while having a low environmental impact.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Isham, Amya.isham@surrey.ac.uk
Gatersleben, BirgittaB.Gatersleben@surrey.ac.uk
Jackson, TimT.Jackson@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 14 September 2018
DOI : 10.1177/0013916518799826
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2018 SAGE Publications
Uncontrolled Keywords : flow; leisure activities; environmental impact; well-being; sustainable lifestyles
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 09 Oct 2018 11:05
Last Modified : 12 Dec 2018 15:01
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/849616

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