Bonsai growing as serious leisure: A source of emotional and social wellness for older adults

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This poster presents an overall picture of an ongoing study about the personal and social benefits of engagement in bonsai growing as a form of serious leisure for older adults. Serious leisure includes a vast range of indoor and outdoor hobbies, amateurism and volunteer activities requiring long-term commitment and special knowledge or skills (e.g. birding, knitting, fishing). This study focuses on bonsai growing which combines horticultural techniques, artistic skills and philosophical principles to shape and preserve various trees to represent an ideal form of nature. Bonsai hobby possesses all the six qualities of serious leisure: perseverance and commitment, the potentiality to turn into a career, significant personal effort based on specific knowledge, durable personal and social benefits, unique ethos within a social world and developing new identities associated with the activity. The study uses van Manen's phenomenological approach to explore a sample of bonsai growers' lived experiences. It builds on the previous research in this field, showing serious leisure provides physical, emotional and social wellness benefits for the leisure participants. The study aims to discover to what extent bonsai growers can benefit from this hobby to enhance their emotional and social wellness. The findings will inform both policy and practice in the area of aged care and ageing studies. Policymakers can use the results to make more evidence-based decisions to promote leisure activities for older adults. Moreover, scholars in the ageing studies can conduct quantitative follow-up studies to verify the findings in some larger sample size or other contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2021
EventAustralian Association of Gerontology Conference - Virtual, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 09 Nov 202112 Nov 2021
Conference number: 54


ConferenceAustralian Association of Gerontology Conference
CityGold Coast
Internet address


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