Hobbies are activities that people take up for their own enjoyment outside of work or other normal day-to-day activities. They may be casual where they occur infrequently or short-lived or serious where they are committed for long periods of time with an end goal in mind. Some hobbies also have a social component. Examples are choral singing and volunteering.
Hobbies can help people relax, pass the time and even earn a side income. They can also be used to develop specific skills or improve a person’s abilities. People can often go through several different hobbies before they find one that fits them.
The term hobby is derived from a small toy horse called a hobbyhorse, which was used by young children to train and exercise. The word was later adopted to mean an amateur pursuit. Hobbies became popular during industrialization as workers had set hours for their jobs and needed something to fill the time. Hobbies can be casual in nature such as stamp collecting or gardening, but they can also be project-based and long-term, such as restoring a house, building a car or writing an ebook.
Many people choose to engage in a hobby for the sense of achievement and fulfillment it brings them. Others find it a great way to socialize with other like-minded people. Hobbies can be creative such as painting or sculpting or they can be a way to build knowledge, such as reading or going to museums.