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A hobby is a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time. Hobbies can include collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing other amusements. A list of hobbies is lengthy and always changing as interests and fashions change. By continually participating in a particular hobby, one can acquire substantial skill and knowledge in that area. Engagement in hobbies has increased since the late nineteenth century as workers have more leisure time and advancing production and technology have provided more support for leisure activities. As some hobbies have become less popular, like stamp collecting, others have been created following technological advances, like video games.
Hobbyists are a part of a wider group of people engaged in leisure pursuits where the boundaries of each group overlap to some extent. The Serious Leisure Perspective groups hobbyists with amateurs and volunteers and identifies three broad groups of leisure activity with hobbies being found mainly in the Serious leisure category.
a. Casual leisure is intrinsically rewarding, short-lived, pleasurable activity requiring little or no preparation
b. Serious leisure is the systematic pursuit of an amateur, hobbyist, or volunteer that is substantial, rewarding and results in a sense of accomplishment.
c. Project-based leisure is a short-term often a one-off project that is rewarding.
In the 16th century, the term "hobyn " had the meaning of "small horse and pony ". The term "hobby horse" was documented in a 1557 payment confirmation for a "Hobbyhorse" from Reading, England. The item, originally called a "Tourney Horse", was made of a wooden or basketwork frame with an artificial tail and head. It was designed for a child to mimic riding a real horse. By 1816 the , "hobby", was introduced into the vocabulary of a number of English people. Over the course of subsequent centuries, the term came to be associated with recreation and leisure. In the 17th century, the term was used in a pejorative sense by suggesting that a hobby was a childish pursuit, however in the 18th century with a more industrial society and more leisure time, hobbies took on greater respectability A hobby is also called a pastime, derived from the use of hobbies to pass the time. A hobby became an activity that is practised regularly and usually with some worthwhile purpose. Hobbies are usually, but not always, practised primarily for interest and enjoyment, rather than financial reward.
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