Recreation

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recreation

Education
a. an interval of free time between school lessons
b. (as modifier): recreation period
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Recreation

 

a state of repose or an activity that restores the capacity to work. Physiologically, it is a state of specific activity when the cell, having no work to perform, restores its normal composition.

Regular alternation of periods of work and recreation helps strengthen the conditioned reflexes crucial to a person’s behavior and work activity. The research of physiologists and hygienists has established the special significance of what is known as active rest or active recreation. As early as 1903, I. M. Sechenov proved that one most rapidly recovers work capacity after performing fatiguing work with one arm not by resting both arms but by performing work with the unworked arm. Redistributing work activity from certain muscle groups and nerve centers to others accelerates restoration of the work capacity of fatigued muscles. Switching from one type of mental work to another and alternating mental activity with light physical work eliminate fatigue and constitute a distinctive form of recreation.

Working out efficient regimens of work and recreation is one of the most important problems of occupational hygiene, childhood and adolescent hygiene, and the system of childhood and adolescent health protection. Age and occupation should be taken into account in planning a recreation regimen. It has been established, for example, that the ratio between recreation time and work time—for work that is of maximal muscle exertion and average intensity—is approximately 3.8:1 for 17-year-olds, 2.6:1 for 20-year-olds, and 3.3:1 for 40-year-olds. Depending on the concrete working conditions, frequent short breaks for recreation may be more effective than infrequent prolonged ones. Those engaged in mental work do not need passive rest as much as a change from one form of work to another, such as to light physical work. Exercises done during breaks in the work day are a fine form of recreation.

Hardening of the body, physical training, sports, and travel are important means of recreation. Recreation areas are used to organize optimal rest, and recreation at health resorts and houses of rest also helps to restore work ability.


Recreation

 

(Russian, rekreatsiia), the restoration of strength expended in work. The term rekreatsiia has been used in this sense in the USSR since the 1960’s in books and articles dealing with the physiological, medical, socioeconomic, architectural-building, and other problems of organizing recreation. When recreation is combined with treatment, for example, in sanatoriums, the distinction between recreation and convalescence or treatment is blurred. Recreation is characterized in terms of the length of time in which the restoration of strength takes place and in terms of the activity that is directed consciously or instinctively toward this end.

The amount of time devoted to recreation depends on the level of productivity of social labor and the nature of production relations, as well as on age, sex, occupation, and in a number of other sociodemographic factors. Growth in the productivity of social labor permits an increase in recreation time and simultaneously requires such an increase as an indispensable condition for the simple and expanded reproduction of man’s physical, spiritual, and intellectual potential. Thus, socially necessary recreation time is commensurate with socially necessary working time. Man’s need for recreation is a socioeconomic category that changes depending on the nature of the productive forces and production relations. Under capitalism recreation time reaches a socially necessary magnitude —contrary to the interests of those who own the means of production—only as a result of the class struggle. Under socialism, recreation achieves such a magnitude as a result of the planned and purposeful activity of the state and the working people.

The scientific and technological revolution, while reducing the physical load in work, has increased the intellectual and psychoemotional load. This has changed the nature of recreation. Essentially passive recreation, aimed mainly at replenishing the body’s energy resources, is being replaced by active recreation, requiring an expenditure of energy from the energy resources that are not used during working time. Recreational activity includes such pursuits as tourism, physical culture, sports, amateur performing activities, technical creativity, and collecting, which have different physical, intellectual, and emotional loads. The socially promising types of recreational activity promote the harmonious development of the individual, thereby raising the social and physiological efficacy of recreation. Some types of recreation, associated with labor processes, have an applied value. Recreational activity is usually organized through state and social institutions and clubs. It has a social character, but it may also be individual.

In many countries recreational services are an autonomous sphere of labor and a major branch of the economy, employing 2 to 5 percent of the gainfully employed population. In such countries as Italy and France as much as 10 to 15 percent of the work force is engaged in providing recreation. The total expenditures of the population on recreational goods and services amount to 3–5 percent or more of total consumption (in the USSR about 5 percent and in the USA 5.5 percent). Vacation homes, tourist centers, sports camps, sanatoriums, industrial enterprises, commercial and intermediary enterprises, and communication lines are established in areas with highly favorable natural and economic conditions for organizing recreation and in areas that are interesting for geographic, historical, ethnographic, or cultural reasons.

The chief recreational areas in the USSR are the Caucasus, the Crimea, the Carpathians, and the Baltic as well as parts of Middle Asia, the Urals, Southern Siberia, and the Far East. Cultural centers such as Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, and their environs, with their many historical and cultural monuments, are of great recreational value, as are preserves. Recreational resources are taken into account in regional planning.

The search for new recreational areas and the study of their integrated use have given rise to recreational geography, whose theoretical principles are being elaborated in the USSR, primarily at the Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and Moscow State University. The institutions and organizations of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, of the ministries of health, culture, and agriculture, and of the State Committee for Construction are responsible for the study and use of recreational resources, taking into account natural and climatic conditions, cultural and historical landmarks, the infrastructure, labor resources, and the demand for recreation. Research on recreational possibilities is being conducted in the USA, France, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and other countries.

In Russian the word rekreatsiia also has two archaic meanings: (1) a school holiday or vacation and (2) a recreation hall.

REFERENCES

Likhanov, B. N. “Geograficheskoe izuchenie rekreatsionnykh resursov SSSR i putei ikh ispol’zovaniia.” In Geograficheskoe izuchenie prirod-nykh resursov i voprosy ikh ratsional’nogo ispol’zovaniia. Moscow, 1973. (Itogi nauki i tekhniki: Geografiia SSSR, vol. 9.)
Teoreticheskie osnovy rekreatsionnoi geografii. Edited by V. S. Preobra-zhenskii. Moscow, 1975. (Problems of constructive geography.)

V. M. KRIVOSHEEV and B. N. LIKHANOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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