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People can benefit in many ways from participation in cultural and recreational activities. Leisure time gives people an opportunity to recover from pressures of work and other commitments, to bond with friends and family, to pursue their interests, and to reflect on their life's direction and meaning. And expression of identity through, say, the arts and sport gives greater meaning to individual, community and national life. Time spent on such activities is an important part of the quality of life in Australia.
The ABS recognises the importance of this aspect of progress. But it has proved difficult to find an indicator for culture and leisure that has not already been used to assess the other dimensions of progress presented in this publication.
Barriers to participating in culture and leisure - shortage of time, money or access to facilities - are less ambiguous indicators. Many are covered elsewhere in this publication. The time barrier is discussed in the commentary Work: Looking more closely which considers the people working 50 hours or more a week. The financial barriers are considered in the commentaries National income and Financial hardship. Some of the barriers to accessing facilities are considered in the Transport and Communication commentaries.
The Family, community and social cohesion commentary also discusses some aspects of culture and leisure, such as Australians' attendance at live performances and sporting venues.
See the commentaries Work, National income, Financial hardship, and Family, community and social cohesion.