Leisure activities involve physical, mental and social effort. These activities are beneficial for the development of the human being, so it is necessary to have instruments to measure participation in such activities. Thus, a scale was built and validated. Method: two phases were carried out; both performed a sampling by convenience and with the participation of students from a Mexican public university. First phase: forty-four young analyzed a list of 31 leisure activities and valued the physical, mental and social effort required to perform them. Second phase: surrendered the list of activities (including also a scale of frequency of participation) to 332 youths (63% women; average age of 20.47 years old). The estimated effort (physical, mental and social) of each participant was calculated, considering the values of phase 1 and the frequency of participation. The indices of internal consistency are acceptable (a measure of general effort α = 0. 93; physical dimension α = 0. 76; mental α = 0. 80; social α = 0. 80). These data have allowed us to consider the scale as an adequate measure of the level of participation in leisure activities, distinguishing the effort involved in the group evaluated.