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Last Updated: Friday, 27 June, 2003, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
Scots suffer 'leisure burn-out'
Depressed man
People feel under pressure to fill their leisure time
People across Scotland are suffering from "leisure burn-out", according to a new study.

Almost half of those questioned were disappointed at how they spent the weekend when they woke up on Monday mornings.

The study suggested that 68% of people in Scotland fill their weekends with strenuous activities such as home improvements and DIY.

But it claimed that more than three quarters of those who took part in the survey felt most happy when they are by the waterside.

Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman said the results proved people in Scotland need to get "back to nature".

"We all know we have to get the work-life balance right - now it's time to get the leisure balance right too," he said.

"There's real pressure to fill your leisure time with expensive pursuits and jet-setting activities when all we really need is to get back to basics."

Childhood memories

In Scotland, 70% of the 1,000 people questioned said that spending time by the waterside was the most fulfilling way to enjoy leisure time as a family.

About 12% said that they found visiting a theme park fulfilling.

Almost two thirds of those questioned said that recollections of time spent by water were among their fondest childhood memories.

"Water is well known for its calming qualities and more than half of us live within five miles of a river or canal," added Dr Sigman.

"There are huge benefits from spending less time on man-made recreational activities, such as fun parks, and more time closer to nature - yet we're clearly not making enough use of these natural resources."

The Water for Life study was commissioned by British Waterways.

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