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Growing old has its challenges, but people who engage in the creative arts as they age experience personal growth and fulfillment, according to several studies. Research funded by the National Endowment for the Arts suggests that engaging in the creative arts can enhance physical and psychological heath.
Painting, singing, dancing, acting, writing and participating in similar activities have the potential to offset the complications of aging, researchers found.
People who participated in arts programs fared better than individuals in the control groups. Specifically, those who participated in creative activities reported better physical health (fewer falls, fewer medical appointments, and less medication usage), better mental health (less loneliness and enhanced morale), and increased involvement in activities, as compared to their counterparts.
How can taking art classes, singing in a choir or acting in a play bring about such impressive changes? Researchers believe that working to master a craft can enhance the immune system. Engaging socially with others produces both physical and psychosocial benefits, they said. Creative endeavors can also promote the brain’s ability to grow and change.