Are you still looking for a New Year’s resolution to stay healthy in 2020 but exhausting sport and a vegan lifestyle is not an option for you? We might have an idea for you. A research team from University College London (UCL) found out through an English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which was published in the British Medical Journal on 18 December 2019, that frequent visits to museums and art galleries will statistically lead to a healthier and therefore longer life.

For the study, the research team looked at a dataset consisting of 6710 adults in England aged 50 years and older, among them 53,6% women and 46,4% men. Every single participant in the research was followed for an average of 12 years to gather data not only on the attendance or not at cultural activities but also a range of other ageing issues. According to the research results, people who occasionally visit museums and art galleries are more likely to be in better health, which leads to a greater likelihood of having a longer life expectancy.

It gets even better, the more you do something culturally significant, such as visiting an art gallery or museum, the more your health and longevity benefit from it. The study shows that your life expectancy depends on how frequently you undertake cultural activities. The risk of premature death of people who visited a museum or art gallery every few months was a third lower than of people who never or only very seldomly visited such an institution. But do not worry, you do not have to go to museums every day to get old, the report states that your health already benefits from visiting museums once or twice within a year which leads to a 14 per cent lower risk of passing away earlier in comparison to the average mortality rate.

The groundbreaking result of the research might be that it is proven that cultural activities have a significant impact on our lives and that we need cultural institutions like museums for our well-being.


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