Viewing art reduces risk of mortality

Published Sep 14th 2020

If there ever was a good reason to cultivate a habit of museum going, this is one!

The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing compared self reported receptive arts engagement (going to museums, art galleries, exhibitions, the theatre, concerts, or the opera) with mortality.

The researchers found that people who engaged with receptive arts activities on an infrequent basis (once or twice a year) had a 14% lower risk of dying. People who engaged with receptive arts activities on a frequent basis (every few months or more) had a 31% lower risk of dying, independent of demographic, socioeconomic, health related, behavioural, and social factors.

Results were robust to a range of sensitivity analyses with no evidence of moderation by sex, socioeconomic status, or social factors. This study was observational and so causality cannot be assumed.

You can read the published study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).