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relaxation | criteria | basket | cost

Relaxation - basket

In the basket relaxation we focus on three areas: holidays, Participation in (non)-organised leisure activities and domestic leisure.

Holidays serve various functions. They are considered beneficial to people’s health, as they can bring physical and mental relaxation. Moreover, holidays are an ideal opportunity for spending quality time with the family, relatives and friends. Such experiences (and memories of them) reinforce one’s interpersonal relations. In addition, holidays can be enriching: they are a source of new experiences and an opportunity to meet other people (Toerisme Vlaanderen, 2007). Considering the aforementioned functions, it is not necessary for holidays to span several days. Still, we foresee this possibility and include in the basket the cost of a five-day stay at the seaside. Obviously in practice, the households may choose to spend the budget on daytrips instead.

Besides a five-day holiday or a number of daytrips with one’s family, relatives or friends, every individual must be able to participate in the dominant leisure activities in society. Not because they are dominant as such, but rather because non-participation could lead to social exclusion (Corijn, 2007). After all, in addition to offering relaxation and personal enrichment (through exposure to new experiences), participation in cultural activities is a way for people to meet others and to reinforce their sense of belonging in society. On the basis of the Flemish participation decree of 18 January 2008, we propose that all adults in the sixteen model families should be able to participate in a paid-for leisure activity at least once a month and be members of a local club or association.

Domestic leisure activities often involve electronic media. Especially for low-income groups, such media are an important source of leisure (Corijn, 2007), as they are easily accessible (reachable, affordable, usable, understandable) and readily available when other forms of leisure are perhaps not. Furthermore, they fulfil an important informational purpose and they are a common topic in day-to-day conversations with relatives or friends. All these functions justify the inclusion of television (including cable connection), DVD player, radio and CD player in the standard budget.

The local library is also an important and accessible source of leisure. It emerged form the focus groups that people value membership of a public library, as it gives them cheap access to books, DVDs and computer games.




K.H.Kempen Vlaamse overheid CSB ULG