Engaging With The Arts Is Related To Greater Wellbeing

Posted on July 20, 2020

Social isolation and fears for our family and friends, as well as ourselves, have all affected psychological wellbeing during the COVID-19 lockdown. But being unable to visit an art gallery, theatre or live music venues may also have taken its toll. According to new research by Peter Todderdell at the University of Sheffield and Giulia Poerio at the University Essex, such experiences contribute to wellbeing in a way that watching a sporting event, for example, does not.

Todderdell and Poerio explored to what extent exposure to various types of art — and the frequency of exposure — might trigger these feelings and influence these aspects of wellbeing. They classified “art” quite broadly, including everything from going to the theatre or a live concert to listening to music and watching a TV drama.

The researchers took all kinds of factors, including age, gender, employment, income, into account when they performed their analysis. And they ultimately conclude that the “frequency of attendance at arts events had a positive association with subsequent mental wellbeing that was equivalent or greater than the effects of employment, marriage and education; stronger than the effect of participative arts; and equivalent to the well-established positive effect of participation in moderate intensity sport.”

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Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from British Psychological Society