Dancing and reading 'good for health' of Scots

dancing The study found those who danced were 62% more likely to report good health than those who did not

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Activities such as dancing, reading and going to the theatre have a "positive impact" on the health of Scots, new research has suggested.

The Scottish government-commissioned study was based on data from the Scottish Household Survey 2011.

It found that people who take part in or attend culture events are more likely to report "good health and life satisfaction" than those who do not.

The report comes on the day Commonwealth Games tickets go on sale.

Glasgow will host the event in the summer next year.

The research found that regardless of factors such as age, economic status, income, education and disability, cultural participation was positive for health and wellbeing.

Its key findings included:

  • Those who attended a cultural place or event in the previous 12 months were almost 60% more likely to report good health than those who did not
  • Those who participated in a creative or cultural activity in the previous 12 months were 38% more likely to report good health than those who did not
  • Those who visited a library or a museum were almost 20% more likely to report good health than those who had not
  • Those who visited a theatre were almost 25% more likely to report good health than those who did not
  • Those who participated in dance were 62% more likely to report good health than those who did not
  • And those who read for pleasure were 33% more likely to report good health than those who did not

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said in response to the report, titled The Impact of Cultural Engagement and Sports Participation on Health and Satisfaction with Life in Scotland 2013, said: "Starting young, and being encouraged to take part in culture as a child, makes it more likely that the benefits of taking part will be experienced as an adult.

"That's why this government has funded activities like Bookbug, Scottish Book Trust's Early Years programme, which encourages parents and children to read together from birth, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra's Astar CD, which is helping parents in Scotland to introduce their babies to the joy of music."

Latest research

The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) is a continuous survey based on a sample of the general population in Scotland.

Its aim is to provide representative information about the composition, characteristics and behaviours of Scottish households, both at national and local authority level.

The data used in the latest research study was from the 2010/11 fieldwork of the SHS.

A total of 14,358 households were interviewed in the 2010/11 survey with the questions on culture being put to about 75% of the total sample, giving a sample size of 9,683 adults.

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