What Is a Hobby?


A hobby is a non-work activity that you pursue in your leisure time for enjoyment, self-fulfillment or as a way of contributing to society. Hobbies are typically non-competitive and low-cost, which means they offer a healthy alternative to more intense activities like working, earning a living or studying for a career. They are also often regarded as enjoyable to learn and can lead to the development of useful skills. Hobbies can be as simple as tending a garden or as complex as building a CNC machine.

Hobbies can be divided into different categories based on how they are consumed, the environment in which they are performed and the level of proficiency required to engage in them. For example, collecting hobbies are usually consuming in nature and can involve a wide variety of items such as stamps, coins, sports cards, or even old cars. Similarly, creating or tinkering hobbies often require higher levels of skill but can be less consuming than other types of hobbyists as the process is very self-motivating.

Many people develop both hobbies and skill sets over the course of their lives. Hobbies and skills often blur into one another after some time since they have similar characteristics such as the need to practice, the joy of making something with your hands and the desire to improve your proficiency. The difference between a skill and a talent is that skills can be learned over time while talents are innate abilities, such as music, art or math.