Cultural Participation Linked to Better Health Outcomes

Receptive cultural activities affect health outcomes more strongly than creative activities

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- There is gender-dependent association between cultural activities (both receptive and creative) and good health, satisfaction with life, and low anxiety and depression scores, according to a study published online May 23 in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

Koenraad Cuypers, from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study Research Center in Levanger, Norway, and colleagues analyzed the association between receptive and creative cultural activity and perceived health, anxiety, depression, and satisfaction with life in 50,797 adults who participated in the third Nord-Trøndelag Health Study between 2006 and 2008. Comprehensive self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data.

The investigators found that, after adjusting for variables, both receptive and creative cultural activity participation was significantly correlated with good health and satisfaction with life, low anxiety, and low depression scores in both genders. Participation in receptive rather than creative cultural activities correlated more strongly with all health-related outcomes, particularly for men. Several single receptive or creative cultural activities, including association meetings, outdoor activity, music, singing, and sports, had statistically significant correlations with health-related variable outcomes.

"This study revealed a gender-dependent association between participation in cultural activities and good health, low anxiety and depression scores, and satisfaction with life in a population," the authors write. "Receptive cultural activities seem to have a stronger association with perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life than the creative cultural activities."

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