Going to Museums and Theaters Can Help You Live Longer, According to a Study
If you’ve never heard of museotherapy, it’s probably time for you to learn a little bit more about it. Because researchers from the University College London actually found out that frequent trips to museums, art galleries, and theaters are not only a pleasure for your eyes, but could also help you live longer.
We at Bright Side would love to tell you about the results of their study in detail.
For the study, researchers analyzed the data from 6,710 British adults over the age of 50. All of them took part in a larger study - the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The average age of all participants was around 66.
These people were asked how often they engaged with the arts, including visiting exhibitions, museums, or art galleries, or going to the opera, the theater, or attending concerts. They had to choose between 3 options - never, infrequently (less than once a year or once or twice a year), and frequently (every few months or more).
The aim of this study was to find out the link between receptive (not active) art engagement and mortality rate.
Over the next 14 years, about 2,000 of the participants passed away. The most common reasons of death among them were cancer, heart disease, lung problems, and other natural causes.
So, the researchers analyzed all the collected data and came to the following conclusion - the more often you expose yourself to different kinds of art, the lower your risk of premature death is. In particular, people who engage in art activities frequently, have a 31% lower risk of dying, while those who go to a museum or attend a concert just once or twice a year are only 14% less likely to die early.
Some other factors like demographics, social and economic status, health, and marital status were also taken into account, but the scientists didn't find any relation between them and the results of the study.
Although, this is just an observational study and it can't show us why exactly a culturally enriched life can help people live longer, lots of scientists believe that the arts can reduce stress, boost creativity, give the person doing it a sense of peace, and help you to have a purpose in life.
Previous studies have also found positive effects of the arts on a person's physical well-being, including chronic pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, shortness of breath, and some other symptoms.
How often do you go to museums and art galleries? Will you go there more often after reading this article? Share your thoughts in the comments!