Art for Health’s Sake: The Health Benefits of Culture

Dr. James Aw shares his findings in this inquest into the relationship between culture and healthy aging.  Noticing that his healthiest octogenarian patients are the ones most engaged in the arts, he looked at a few different studies that he thought might prove a causal relationship.  While he admits that the science isn’t ironclad, he looks at one Swedish study that found people who attend cultural events like the cinema experience an increase in longevity.  He next looked next door at a Norwegian study, in which he determined, “Participation in cultural activities was significantly associated with good health, good satisfaction with life, low anxiety and depression scores in both genders, [the study] found.” Interestingly, he found that men receive more benefits from observing culture, and women get more out of creating it.
National Post, August 23, 2011

Written By: Dr. James Aw

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