Forget the adage “an apple a day” as your mantra for staying healthy. Instead, attending a concert every few weeks might be just what the doctor ordered.
All work and no play …
We all know the importance of balancing time allotted for work with the time we spend on other areas of our lives, such as family, social interactions, leisure activities, and our personal interests. Having a proper work-life balance helps decrease stress and increase feelings of well-being, which can improve health. And one recent study adds credence to that idea, reporting that attending live concerts on a regular basis can tack years on to our lives.
The study, from Goldsmith University Associate Lecturer Patrick Fagan and commissioned by music venue O2, showed that spending 20 minutes at a live show can increase feelings of well-being by 21%. What’s more, attending live shows regularly can lead to an increase in life expectancy.
Happier life, longer life
Researchers looked at people taking part in activities thought to produce feelings of well-being and used psychometric and heart rate tests to compare them to individuals who regularly attend concerts. In addition to the increased feelings of well-being, the concert goers had a 25% increase in feelings of self-worth and the same increase in feeling close to others. Mental stimulation also increased 75% in those who frequently enjoy live shows.
So, how often does one need to take in a live show to see the benefits? According to the study, people who saw a live concert every two weeks scored highest in the categories of happiness, productivity, and self-esteem. Researchers concluded that this could result in an extra nine years added to concert goers’ life expectancies. And although music in general can boost good feelings, the research showed that more than two-thirds of the participants felt happier listening to live music than listening at home.
More years, more fun
Although the moral of the story is that work-life balance can increase feelings of happiness and contentment which can positively impact health, you probably don’t need to attend a live concert every other week just so you can add an extra nine years to your life. Instead, pick something that brings you joy, and do it regularly. You will likely reap similar health benefits and add a few extra years to your own life. That means more years to do whatever makes you feel good — like going to more live concerts.