Benefits of Recreational Therapy

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Recreational therapy is a form of therapy that uses play or other recreational activities to improve the patients’ physical and mental health. It’s applicable for all ages, and several activities fall under this. 


They could help everyone from children to seniors recover from illness or injury and improve their life in general. 

Some of the activities involved in recreational therapy are games, arts, music, dance, and sports. The treatment would depend on the needs of the person. First, the therapist would talk to the patient to assess their condition and determine the best option. 

The therapy could take place at the clinic, home, school, or other locations where appropriate. For instance, if it’s group therapy, there would be a specific venue where patients would gather. Below are some benefits of recreational therapy.

It’s Fun

When people hear the word therapy, they often associate it with a painful and difficult recovery process. However, it doesn’t always have to be that way because recreational therapy makes the process fun. It uses activities that people find enjoyable and therapeutic at the same time. 

For example, patients may use a therapy ball for their recovery. They can connect it to a tablet and choose from various engaging games to play and help strengthen their muscles and improve their hand movements and control. In addition, there is a dashboard that shows the result and monitors the performance to see the progress. 

It Relieves Stress

Since the activities are things that patients may enjoy doing, they also take away their minds off stressful things and help them feel more relaxed and refreshed. For instance, art therapy would make them focus on creating art pieces and expressing their thoughts and emotions. Music therapy is also a way of expressing their feelings, and doing so relieves stress. 

It Enhances Social Skills

Some recreational therapies are in group settings. Patients join the therapy sessions with other patients, allowing them to mingle, thus improving their social skills. Those who have problems with confidence or socializing with other people could overcome these issues through group therapies. 

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It Promotes Independence

Older people and those who have difficulties moving by themselves due to an illness or injury may need the help of others to move around and do their daily routines. 

However, it makes them dependent, which may also affect their confidence, as they can’t do things on their own. Recreational therapy can help improve mobility and let them attend to themselves with little to no aid from others. 

It’s a great way to enhance their quality of life and boost their confidence since they can rely on themselves for their basic needs, such as eating, bathing, and changing clothes. 

It will also be more convenient for the family members living with patients since patients don’t have to rely too much on them. These family members could do other things instead of just being focused or spending most of their time caring for the patients. 

It Improves Memory And Focus

Besides strengthening the body, recreational therapy could also sharpen the mind, thus improving attention span, focus, and memory. Older people and those who have difficulties focusing on their memory could benefit from this therapy. 

Some activities include games that exercise the brain, like puzzles and logic games. Art also enhances focus as patients put their attention into what they do. 

It Promotes Better Sleep

Since the therapy relieves stress, it makes the patients feel calmer and relaxed, thus also improving sleep. Those who have trouble sleeping due to various reasons would benefit from it. Having proper sleep benefits health in general. 

Lack of sleep could lead to multiple health concerns like heart problems, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It may also cause lower immunity, depression, mood swings, and obesity. 

group aerobics

It Strengthens Body

Like other types of therapies, recreational therapy also helps strengthen the body. As mentioned, it can also be in the form of sports and exercises. A stronger body boosts the immune system, protecting patients from various illnesses or quickly getting sick. 

Moreover, it contributes to their independence, as they would feel strong enough to do more things on their own, especially their basic needs. So again, it would be beneficial for both the patients and their family members. 


Recreational therapy adds fun to the typical rehabilitation process for patients. It’s something that they could commit to doing because it’s enjoyable and brings positive results at the same time. Consult a therapist if you need help with your mental and physical state, and find the right type of therapy.  

Last Updated on February 15, 2022

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