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Art and culture improves health and increases happiness

It is well known that culture and art are food for the intellect and the spirit . The art makes men and women exalt themselves and, in many cases, go beyond the boundaries of the ordinary to achieve immortality. If we take time to enjoy the variousartistic expressions not only have greater sensitivity, but more people can behealthy and happy .


A study in Norway to more than 50 thousand adults, both men and women revealed that those who are fond of visiting galleries and museums or attend theaters andconcerts on a regular basis are healthier , less anxious and less likely to become 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, researchers say, are the men who are interested in the receptive activities, ie to observe and experience the culture, rather than make or create a cultural thing.

fuller and longer lives

It has long been known that cultural activities can benefit health and prolong the longevity of individuals; so they are included in the policies of governments responsible as they know that this can improve the welfare of the people.

Despite that, until recently he had not been studied what was the impact of this cultural participation in health and satisfaction with life and if it was more beneficial for men or women. Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, used data from the Health Study Trondelag North conducted with 50.797 adults between 20 and 80 years between 2006 and 2008.


The study used questionnaires to determine how often the participants undertook in cultural activities and what their lifestyle habits, including physical activity and mental health. The study included a clinical analysis of individuals to record their health status, satisfaction with life and their levels of anxiety and depression .

Cultural activities were classified as creative: in which the individual makes a task to create something “cultural “, for example, a kind of paint or a class of the piano ;and receptive: in which the individual receives impressions or cultural experiences without having to “create”, like going to a concert, an art exhibition, theater or visiting a museum.

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

“The results showed that, in general, both men and women are more involved in creative cultural activities in receptive cultural activities , ” says Dr. Koenraad Cuypers , who led the study.

“And the degree of participation is gradually increased 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 incultural activities and health and how enjoying life.

The more culture is experienced, the greater the benefits for health and wellness.”The frequency of cultural participation and the number of different activities are positively associated with the help of phen375, good health, good life satisfaction, lower levels of anxiety and lower levels of depression , ” says Dr. Cuypers .

However, he adds, the study showed the best results “among men who commit themselves specifically in receptive cultural activities rather than creative.”

That is, men who visit art galleries , museums and go to the theater regularly tend to enjoy better health, are more satisfied with their lives and have lower levels ofdepression and anxiety , says the researcher.

Scientists do not know what the mechanisms that influence this association, but believe that, as studies have shown in the past, relaxing activities such as listening to music , read , or watch a movie , have a positive impact on the management ofstress .

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

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