Retirees should be masters of their own destiny, and actively manage and plan their free time to ensure a happy and fulfilling retirement. This is the advice of Wei-Ching Wang of the I-Shou University in Taiwan, leader of a study published in Springer's journal Applied Research in Quality of Life. The study found that the effective management of free time has a far greater impact on a retiree's quality of life than the amount of time the person actually has available for leisure activities.
Wang and his team studied the responses of 454 Taiwanese retirees to understand if there is a link between their management of free time and their overall quality of life. With regard to their free time, the retirees were asked about the goals they set, their general attitude towards it and how they schedule and manage it. The Quality of Life scale of the World Health Organisation was also adapted and used for the purposes of the study.
Free time refers to those periods when people are under no obligation and can decide for themselves what to do. It is usually spent in leisure pursuits in order to relax after experiencing stress, or to improve one's health. Several previous studies have revealed that leisure time is important for older people, and that it has a positive influence on their quality of life, happiness and sense of peace. Other studies have also shown that a lack of planning can create problems such as boredom and an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle.