Art and culture improves health and increases happiness

It is well known that culture and the art they are food for intellect and for him spirit . Art causes men and women to magnify themselves and, in many cases, transcend the borders of the common to achieve immortality. If we give ourselves time to enjoy the various artistic expressions not only will we have greater sensitivity, but we can also be more healthy Y happy .

A study conducted in Norway to more than 50 thousand adults, both men and women, revealed that those who are fond of visiting galleries Y museums or to attend theaters Y concerts with some regularity, they are Healthier , less anxious and less inclined to be depressed than those who never participate in any cultural activity.

This research, published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health), studied the association between good health and satisfaction with life and participation in cultural activities ; this because they have a positive impact on life satisfaction, levels of depression, anxiety and good health .

But those who benefit most from these activities, say the researchers, are the mens who are interested in receptive activities, that is, observing and experiencing culture, rather than doing or creating something cultural.

Longer and fuller lives

It has been known for a long time that cultural activities can benefit health and prolong the longevity of individuals; so they are included in the policies of responsible governments, since they know that with this they can improve the wellness from the people.

Despite this, until recently, the impact of this cultural participation on health and education has not been studied. satisfaction with life and if it was more beneficial for men or women. The researchers of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology , in Trondheim, they used data from the Trondelag Health Study of the North carried out with 50,797 adults between 20 and 80 years old between 2006 and 2008.

The study used questionnaires to determine how often participants engaged in cultural activities and what their lifestyle habits were, including the physical activity and his mental health status. The study included a clinical analysis of individuals to record their health status, their satisfaction with life and their levels of anxiety and depression. Cultural activities were classified as creative: in which the individual does a task to create something "cultural", for example, a class of painting or a class of piano ; and receptive: in which the individual receives impressions or cultural experiences without having to "create", such as going to a concert, an art exhibition, the theater or visiting a museum.

The study took into account factors such as the income and educational level of the participants.

"The results showed that, in general, both men and women tend to participate more in creative cultural activities than in cultural receptive activities" says the Doctor Koenraad Cuypers , who directed the study.

"And the degree of participation increases gradually from 20 to 49 years and then begins to decrease as age increases ".  

More receptive culture, better health

The results showed a link between the amount of time an individual participates in cultural activities and his state of health and the way he enjoys life.

The more culture is experienced, the greater the benefits for health and well-being. "The frequency of cultural participation and the number of different activities are positively associated with good health, a good satisfaction with life, a lower level of anxiety and a lower level of depression" says the doctor Cuypers .

However, he adds, the study showed the best results "among men who engage specifically in receptive, more than creative, cultural activities."

That is, men who visit art Galeries , museums and they go to theater regularly tend to enjoy better health, are more satisfied with their lives and have lower levels of depression and anxiety, says the researcher. Scientists do not know what are the mechanisms that influence this association, but believe that, as studies have shown in the past, relaxing activities, such as listening music , read , or see a movie , have a positive impact on stress management.

In addition, they add, the availability to engage in receptive cultural activities, such as attending a concert, the theater or visiting a museum, not only induce greater social participation and physical activity, but also are indicators of a better state of mental health and physical.

"These results indicate that the use of cultural activities for the promotion of health could be justified," the authors conclude.

Source: BBC World

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