A research project in Australia has found that a ‘minimum dose’ of arts activity can be an everyday prescription for wellbeing. Dr. Christina Davies of the University of Western Australia found participants needed to do art for a minimum of two hours a week to make a measurable difference to how we feel. But once the participant was involved in at least two hours of arts activity each week, or averaged more than a hundred hours in a year, there was a clear correlation on the standard measure of subjective wellbeing.
Researchers think that the two-hour minimum is a factor, as art requires knowledge and practice to be most rewarding. Dr. Davies said the results showed a relatively small amount of arts activity could make a very big difference to mental health. You only need to practice art for 15-20 minutes a day.
Australian Government policy is beginning to take the value of the arts into account with a taskforce to promote arts for successful ageing set up recently by the New South Wales Minister for Health and a National Arts and Health Framework.