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Healthy Attendance: The Impact of Cultural Engagement and Sports Participation on Health and...

Key Message

People who participate in culture and sport or attend cultural places or events are more likely to report that their health is good and they are satisfied with their life than those who do not participate even when other factors such as age, economic status; income; area deprivation, education qualification, disability/or long standing illness and smoking are accounted for.

Source

Leadbetter, Clare and O'Connor, NIamh. (2013). Healthy Attendance: The Impact of Cultural Engagement and Sports Participation on Health and Satisfaction with Life in Scotland. Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Government Social Research.

Purpose

While evidence of the benefits of participating in culture and sport has been growing in the international research literature, this is the first population level evidence for Scotland on the association between taking part in culture and sport and self-assessed health and life satisfaction.

The data selected for this study comes from the Scottish Household Survey (SHS) 2011. The SHS is a continuous survey based on a sample of the general population in private residences in Scotland.

The survey covers a wide range of topics to allow links to be made between different policy areas. Key functions of the SHS are:
To enable the disaggregation of information both geographically and in terms of population sub-groups (such as families with children or the elderly);

  • To examine the relationships between social variables within households and support cross-analysis on a range of issues;
  • To discover early detection of national trends;
  • To allow detailed follow-up surveys of sub-samples from the main survey sample, if required.

The data used in this report is from the 2010/2011 fieldwork of the SHS. A total of 14,358 households were interviewed (response rate of 68.7%). The suite of questions on culture was asked of approximately 75% of the total sample (9683 adults).

Evidence

The key findings of the analysis are:

  • There is consistent evidence that people who participate in culture and sport or attend cultural places or events are more likely to report that their health is good and they are satisfied with their life than those who do not participate.
  • This finding remains true even when other factors such as age, economic status; income; area deprivation, education qualification, disability/or long standing illness and smoking are accounted for.
  • In other words, after controlling for relevant factors, participation in culture and sport are independently and significantly associated with good health and high life satisfaction.
  • Overall, those who attended a cultural place or event were almost 60% more likely to report good health compared to those who did not attend.
  • The association between cultural attendance and good health was also found for individual cultural places. For example, those who visited a library were almost 20% more likely to report good health than those who had not visited a library in the previous 12 months. Those who visited a museum were also 20% more likely to report good health than those who did not. Those who visited the theatre were almost 25% more likely to report good health than those who did not in the previous 12 months.
  • Overall, those who participated in a creative or cultural activity were 38% more likely to report good health compared to those who did not participate in any cultural activity in the previous 12 months.
  • For example, those who participated in dance were 62% more likely to report good health than those who did not participate in dance. Those who read for pleasure in the previous 12 months were 33% more likely to report good health
  • than those who did not read for pleasure.
  • Those who participated in sport were nearly twice as likely to report good health than those who did not participate in sport in the previous 4 weeks.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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