The study found that, compared with those who did not visit an art gallery, art gallery visitors are much more likely to report that they have very good or excellent health; are much more likely to report that they have very good or excellent mental health; are much more likely to volunteer; and are less likely to feel trapped in a daily routine.
In a statistical model of health, the study indicated, art gallery visitors have a 35 per cent greater likelihood of reporting very good or excellent health than non-visitors, even accounting for other factors.
Art gallery visitors have an 89 per cent greater likelihood of having volunteered in the past year than non-visitors, even after controlling for other factors.
Overall, the study, titled “The Arts and Individual Well-Being in Canada,” looked at connections between 18 cultural activities and eight indicators of health and well-being.
The study also noted, however, that it is very difficult to provide evidence of a cause and effect relationship between the gallery visits and these outcomes in the absence of an experiment to directly measure the impacts of culture on personal well-being.