Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Music and the Arts Fight Depression, Promote Health

If you paint, dance or play a musical instrument -- or just enjoy going to the theater or concerts -- it's likely that you feel healthier and are less depressed than people who don't.

Suggested reading
Click on image
The findings are drawn from studies conducted for the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, or HUNT, which used questionnaires, interviews, clinical examinations and the collection of blood and urine samples to assemble detailed health profiles of 48,289 participants.

"There is a positive relationship between cultural participation and self-perceived health for both women and men, "says Professor Jostein Holmen, a HUNT researcher who presented the findings at a Norwegian health conference in Stjørdal in November, 2009. "For men, there is also a positive relationship between cultural participation and depression, in that there is less depression among men who participate in cultural activities, although this is not true for women."

But what surprised the medical researcher was that these findings held true no matter the individual's socio-economic status -- whether truck driver or bank president, participating in some way in the arts, theater or music, as player or participant, had a positive effect on that individual's sense of health and well-being.

The new findings were controlled for socioeconomic status, chronic illness, social capital, smoking and alcohol. However, Holmen also reported that the same sense of well-being in people who participate in cultural activities that seemed to protect them from depression did not appear to have the same beneficial effect on anxiety.
*  *  *  *  *

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)  (2009, December 16). Music and the arts fight depression, promote health. ScienceDaily.

No comments:

Post a Comment