Cultural Activities helps to live longer

Secret of Longevity.

Older people who frequent art galleries and museums, attend the theater and concerts may live longer than those who don’t, a study in England suggests.
Even after accounting for a wide range of other health and social factors, researchers from University College London found that people over 50 who regularly engaged with arts activities were 31% less likely to die during a 14-year follow-up than peers with no art in their lives.
Those who took part in arts-related activities only once or twice a year still had 14% lower odds of dying during the study.
The study’s results are in line with previous research that suggested the arts may support longevity by improving mental health, enhancing social capital and reducing loneliness and sedentary behaviors..
“Engaging with arts can stretch our imaginations, inspire and cultivate creativity, celebrate meaningful stories, provide social connectivity, build social capital, challenge us and provide exposure to new knowledge or ideas,” said Jennifer Novak-Leonard of Northwestern University, in Chicago, who researches cultural participation but was not involved in the current study.

Principal findings

This study explored whether receptive arts engagement could have protective associations with survival. We analysed the longitudinal relation between receptive arts engagement and mortality across a 14 year follow-up period in a nationally representative sample of adults aged 50 and older. Results showed a dose-response relation: risk of dying at any point during the follow-up period among people who engaged with cultural activities on an infrequent basis (once or twice a year) was 14% lower than in those with no engagement; for those who engaged on a frequent basis (every few months or more), the risk was 31% lower. The association was independent of all identified confounders, was found across all major causes of death, and was robust to a wide range of sensitivity analyses. and reuter news

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