According to a new report published by the National Endowment for the Arts, older adults who create art and attend arts events have better health outcomes than adults who do neither. Staying Engaged: Health Patterns of Older Americans Who Engage in the Arts presents the first detailed look at arts participation habits, attitudes toward the arts, and related health characteristics of adults aged 55 and older. Staying Engaged is based on results from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), conducted by the University of Michigan with primary support from the National Institute on Aging within the National Institutes of Health.
- 84% of these adults reported either creating art or attending arts events.
- Among this group, 64% created art of their own, 68.7% attended arts events and 48.6% both created and attended.
- The arts are important (63.8%).
- The arts help me to be active and engaged (54.9%).
- Older adults who both created art and attended arts events reported higher cognitive functioning and lower rates of both hypertension and limitations to their physical functioning than did adults who neither created nor attended art.
- Among those who both created and attended, cognitive functioning scores were seven-fold higher than for adults who did neither type of arts activity.