Annals of Leisure Research Call for Papers

Health speaks into leisure – intersections, contradictions and conciliations?

Annals of Leisure Research

While it is generally accepted in the leisure field that leisure has a role, perhaps even a key one, in wellness and wellbeing, this is largely at odds with the operations and funding frameworks of contemporary healthcare systems. Governments spend much less on leisure than they do on healthcare systems which are focussed on biomedical interventions.

While government frameworks and global entities such as the WHO increasingly include mention of non-biomedical understandings of health (incorporating wellness, quality of life, social and leisure frameworks of understanding ‘health’) the reality is that the dominant understanding of health continues to be on disease, illness and infirmity (Becker and Rhynders 2013), a tension personally experienced by leisure practitioners who work in health settings. Health fields which are more aware of the social nature of wellness and wellbeing are peripheral to the dominant healthcare system and when funded are commonly constrained to focus on disease and illness prevention or reduction (Smith and Herriot 2017). This stands in sharp contrast to broader understandings of health as a resource (WHO 1986, Kleiber, Hutchinson and Williams 2002) and flourishing through leisure (Anderson 2012), and wellness and wellbeing (Henderson 2014, Cleary 2017) as understood by the leisure field.

How can the health creating benefits, enabling discourses and applied understandings of leisure have impact in the complex, self-perpetuating discourse of health as pathology and the spaces that continue to dominate health/illness funding?

This special edition focuses on the intersection between health and leisure. We seek papers that may include (but are not constrained to):

  • How is leisure viewed in the health system?
  • How can leisure be a voice/heard/considered within health?
  • How can leisure advocate for health as per, or outside of, biomedical understandings?
  • What does leisure need to hear from healthcare experts – academics, practitioners (health professionals, leisure therapists in health settings), policy makers, health educators and analysts among others
  • What theoretical frameworks can be used to bridge the health – leisure understanding gap?
  • Examples of health and leisure fields working together. Case studies exploring and/or reflecting upon intersections of health-leisure practise. What are the dilemmas encountered in trying to apply leisure understandings to health?
  • International comparisons and examples (across the global north and south) that explore the health- leisure interface are highly welcome

Anderson, L. and Heyne, L. 2012. Flourishing through leisure: An ecological extension of the Leisure and Well-Being Model in therapeutic recreation strengths-based practice, Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 46(2):129-152

Becker, C. and Rhynders, P. 2013. It’s time to make the profession of health about health, Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 41: 1-3

Cleary, A., Fielding, K., Bell, S., Murray, Z. and Roiko, A. 2017. Exploring Potential Mechanisms Involved in the Relationship between Eudemonic Wellbeing and Nature connection, Landscape and Urban Planning, 158:119–128 doi:10.1071/HEv28n1_ED2.

Henderson, K. 2014. Promoting health and well-being through leisure: introduction to the special issue, World Leisure Journal, 56(2): 96-98.

Kleiber, D. A., Hutchinson, S. L., & Williams, R. 2002. Leisure as a Resource in Transcending Negative Life Events: Self-Protection, Self-Restoration, and Personal Transformation. Leisure Sciences, 24(2): 219-235.

Smith, J. A. and Herriot, M. 2017. Positioning health promotion as a policy priority in Australia. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 28: 5–7.

World Health Organization. 1986. The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion. Geneva, Switzerland.

How to submit your abstract

Abstracts due: 6th July 2018

Abstract authors invited to submit full papers: 1st August  2018

Full papers received for review: 1st December 2018

Publication of special edition: March 2020


Expression of interest

Please send proposed paper title, name of author/s and an abstract of no more than 300 words to the guest editor, Janette Young ( by July 6th 2018

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Janette Young, University of South Australia
  • Guest Editor: Nicole Peel, University of Western Sydney
  • Guest Editor: Hazel Maxwell, University of Tasmania
  • Guest Editor: Tess Kay, Brunel University, London