Today, January 31st, is National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, a day that encourages all of us to think about the impact of art on our lives. In honor of this day, Abiomed is highlighting scientific research about the health benefits of engaging with the arts.
A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Public Health examined over 100 studies that investigated connections between different artistic endeavors and health outcomes. The researchers looked at four broad categories including music, visual arts (drawing, painting, sewing), creative writing, and the performing arts (dance, drama). They found overwhelming evidence for the positive effects of engaging with the arts in all four categories. Creative writing and the visual arts reduced stress and improved mood among patients with fibromyalgia, HIV, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Music reduced stress and anxiety and decreased heart and breathing rate in patients with coronary artery disease and cancer. The performing arts improved physical symptoms, psychological health, and cognitive function in the elderly.
Every year, more studies are published that provide further evidence for the benefits of engaging with the arts. For example, findings from another study published in PLOS ONE found that people who take art classes showed positive changes in brain function.
Art in all its forms is an important outlet for human creativity and expression. Research shows it can also improve your health.
Here are some ways to engage the arts this February in honor of National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day and American Heart Month:
- Attend an art gallery, a concert, a play, or a dance performance
- Start learning a musical instrument or pick one up that you haven’t played in a while
- Sign up for a painting or dance class at a local library or community center
- Discuss a song, film, or book with friends or family
- Read the original journal article The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health
- Read the original journal article How Art Changes Your Brain
- Discover 5 Tips to Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
- Subscribe to our blog to learn more about heart and cardiovascular health