Healthy Attendance: The Impact of Cultural Engagement and Sports Participation on Health and Satisfaction with Life in Scotland 2013

This brief Scottish report highlighted the statistical relationship between cultural attendance, active participation in culture or sports, and health and life satisfaction based on findings from the 2010/11 Scottish Household Survey, which interviewed nearly 10,000 Scottish adults.

The report found that, even after controlling for demographic and other factors, “participation in culture and sport are independently and significantly associated with good health and high life satisfaction”. More specifically, after controlling for demographic and other factors, Scottish residents who attended at least one cultural place or event (out of 15 places or events, including cinemas, art exhibits, theatres, dance performances, museums, libraries, and more) were:

  • 59% more likely than non-attendees to report “good” or “very good” health.
  • 52% more likely than non-attendees to report strong satisfaction with life.

Scottish residents who participated in at least one cultural activity (out of 11 activities, including dancing, playing and/or writing music, photography, creating art, making films or videos, reading for pleasure, and more) were:

  • 38% more likely than non-participants to report “good” or “very good” health.
  • 30% more likely than non-participants to report strong satisfaction with life.

The report also provided correlations between specific cultural places, events, and activities and health and satisfaction with life.

The correlations with sports participation were even stronger than the correlations with cultural places, events, and activities. Those who participated in a sport were 99% more likely than non-participants to report “good” or “very good” health and 52% more likely than non-participants to report strong satisfaction with life.

Overall, the report provided support for “a holistic understanding of quality of life” that recognizes that participation in culture and sport are related to well-being, in addition to other factors such as education, age, employment status, and financial situation.

 

Summary: 

This brief Scottish report highlighted the statistical relationship between cultural attendance, active participation in culture or sports, and health and life satisfaction based on findings from the 2010/11 Scottish Household Survey, which interviewed nearly 10,000 Scottish adults. The report found that, even after controlling for demographic and other factors, “participation in culture and sport are independently and significantly associated with good health and high life satisfaction”.