Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Go to a Museum or a Play - You'll Be Happier . . . Seriously


In my skeptical mind, I'm thinking, "Yeah, these guys are happier because they are going to museums and plays and the ballet and their wives/girlfriends are thrilled, so they are getting more sex." But I'm sure that's just my cynical self - I actually love good museums, plays, classical music, modern dance, etc.

Seriously, research has shown repeatedly that arts - both creating and watching - are good for the mind and for general happiness and meaningful life.

Cultured Men Are Happier And Healthier

Men who visit art galleries, museums, and the theatre regularly tend to enjoy better health and are more satisfied with life, reveals a study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The study found that both men and women who play musical instruments, paint or visit the theatre or museums felt in better health, enjoyed life more, and were less likely to be anxious or depressed then people who do not participate in cultural activities.

However, the effect was most pronounced in men who were interested in watching and looking at culture rather than doing creative or active cultural activities themselves.

The Norwegian researchers used questionnaires to determine how frequently 50,797 adults living in Nord-Tr√łndelag County participated in cultural activities and to assess their perceived state of health, satisfaction with life, and anxiety and depression levels.

All types of cultural activities were significantly associated with good health and satisfaction with life, and people who engaged in cultural activities had lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Moreover, the more culture was experienced, the greater were the benefits to health and well-being. The greatest benefits were seen in men who did "receptive" cultural activities, such as visiting theatres and museums.

"The results indicate that the use of cultural activities in health promotion and healthcare may be justified," comment the authors.

The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

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