Does art appreciation help you live longer? A 14-year study finds that it does. Older adults who regularly engaged in arts activities had a 31% lower risk of dying during the follow-up period, say British researchers.
Investigators examined the habits of more than 6,700 adults ages 50 and older who reported going to museums, art galleries, exhibitions, concerts, operas and other other live performances. Those who engaged frequently in these activities (once every few months or so) had the lowest relative mortality risk during the study period.
Even infrequent participants (one or two times a year) were 14% less likely to die within the follow-up period, reported Daisy Fancourt, Ph.D.
The association might be explained by differences in cognition, mental health, and physical activity among people who do and do not engage in the arts, added Fancourt and colleagues. But the study’s results remained significant even after adjusting for those factors, they wrote.
“Receptive arts engagement could have a protective association with longevity in older adults,” the researchers concluded.
Full findings were published online in The BMJ.