This report summarises findings from a series of longitudinal studies conducted between 2017 and 2022 that examined the relationship between arts and cultural engagement and health and wellbeing outcomes using UK and US cohort studies. The report is grouped into three topics: children and young people, mental health, and healthy ageing.

The findings suggest that the same types of associations seen between arts engagement and health outcomes in short-term, small-scale intervention studies are also apparent over time and at a population level. This evidence helps to answer questions that policymakers, health professionals, and arts practitioners have had about the long-term impact of the arts, and it demonstrates that the arts can be a pillar of population health.

This report has been authored by the Social Biobehavioural Research Group at UCL which sits within UCL’s Department of Behavioural Science and Health, in the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, and has been designated as the first WHO Collaborating Centre for Arts and Health.

Social Biobehavioural Research Group at University College London

University College London


Children, culture, Mental Health, Older people, Public Health


Sign up to our e-bulletin to keep up to date with the latest news and opportunities.