Scientists are undertaking a major worldwide study of rest in the 21st Century.
The subjective nature of how people rest means it has been hard for the topic, so crucial for wellbeing, to be studied by researchers.
So, experts have put together an online “Rest Test” to gather thousands of responses from around the world on how people from different backgrounds do it.
The study is being launched on the UK’s Radio 4’s All in the Mind show and will be broadcast on the BBC World Service.
Durham University’s Dr Felicity Callard, a director of the Hubbub research centre, says people defined rest differently.
“Some people say they feel most rested doing 20 lengths in the swimming pool, for other people it’s when they watch television,” she said.
While sleep and work have been well-researched, rest has not been so closely studied, she said.
But it was a highly-relevant subject with social media keeping our minds active long after work has supposedly finished, with the latest technology allowing people to track their daily exercise and studies showing that working long hours damages productivity.
The growing phenomenon of mindfulness – of concentrating on the moment – has become popular as people struggle with the frenetic pace of modern living.
“We want to know how people’s life experiences – of work and worklessness, of health and ill-health – affect their ability to rest,” Dr Callard said.
“Data from The Rest Test will allow us to look at, from a whole range of different angles, who rests most, least, and how – and who feels they can’t get rest.
“In time, these data might well help us to rethink how work might be re-organised, and how societal interventions might find more creative ways in which to facilitate people’s bodily and mental rest.”
Claudia Hammond, presenter of Radio 4’s All in the Mind and associate director of Hubbub, said: “Rest is widely regarded as important to our wellbeing but there’s so much we don’t know about it.
“Sometimes we want to calm our minds, while at other times we focus on letting our bodies recover.
“The test will help us find out more about our relationships with rest and how it affects all our lives.”
The Rest Test can found at resttest杭州桑拿按摩,