Leisure time activities and culture participation may have health effects and be important in pulic health promotion. More knowledge on how cultural activity participation may influence self-perceived health, life-satisfaction, self-esteem and mental health is needed.
This article use data from the general population-based Norwegian HUNT Study, using the cross-sectional Young-HUNT3 (2006-08) Survey including 8200 adolescents. Data on cultural activity participation, self-perceived health, life-satisfaction, self-esteem, anxiety and depression were collected by self-reported questionnaires.
Both attending meetings or training in an organisation or club, and attending sports events were positively associated with each of the health parameters good self-percieved health, good life-satisfaction, good self-esteem, and low anxiety and depression symptoms. We found differences according to gender and age (13-15 years versus 16-19 years old) for several culture activities, where girls aged 16-19 years seemed to benefit most from being culturally active. The extent of participation seemed to matter. Those who had frequent participation in cultural activities reported better health outcomes compared to inactive adolecents.
The results from this study indicate that participation in cultural activities may be positively associated with health, life-satisfaction and self-esteem in adolescents and thus important in public health promotion. Possible sex and age differences should be taken into account.
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