Strap on your dancing shoes, pick up a guitar or grab a paintbrush. These activities—along with eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising daily and reducing your stress—can help you live a longer, healthier life.
New research has found that participating in arts activities benefits older adults. Researchers found:
- Singing improves mental health and subjective well-being (for example, perceived quality of life)
- Taking dance classes bolsters cognition and motor skills, and even reduces the likelihood of developing dementia later in life
- Playing a musical instrument has myriad positive effects, including dementia risk reduction
- Visual arts practice generates increases in social engagement, psychological health and self-esteem
So Many Benefits of Arts for Older Adults
Participating in activities like painting, dancing and singing can help improve mental health, flexibility and prevent social isolation. Here’s how:
Singing: After observing a group of adults aged 60 and over who participated in a weekly singing group, researchers discovered participants had decreased anxiety and depression compared with those who did not participate.
Dancing: Adults aged 60 and over who participated in a weekly dance class received a number of benefits, including improved cognition and attention, posture and balance and hand and motor skills.
Painting: Similar to those taking a singing class, adults over age 60 who participated in painting lessons were shown to have improved mental health and well-being.
How You Can Get Involved in the Arts
Dance Classes: Let the music move you, improve your balance and boost your mood at these Ohio dance classes for older adults:
- Rhythm & Grace Ballroom Dance Studio
- Swing dancing at Get Hep Swing
- Cleveland Swing and Salsa
- All About Dancin’ Dance Studio
- Columbus Dance Centre
- Dublin Dance Centre
- Arthur Murray Columbus
- Mam Luft & Co Dance
- Contemporary Dance Theater
Singing and Instrument Lessons: Whether you prefer to belt out or play a piece of music, make new connections and give your mental health a boost with these local singing and instrument lessons:
- Voice and instrument lessons at School of Rock
- Celebrity School of Music
- Music Classes at the Ashtabula Arts Center
- Columbus Music Schools
- Cincinnati Music Academy
- Cincinnati School of Music
Painting and Visual Arts Classes: Unleash your creativity — and improve your well-being — with these Ohio painting and visual arts classes:
- Adult Studios at the Cleveland Museum of Art
- Arts4Life at the Cuyahoga County Library
- Beck Center for the Arts
- Art House
- Cultural Arts Center
- Art with Anna
- Art Academy of Cincinnati
- For the Love of Art Studio
Whether you’ve always wanted to play the piano or have been painting for years as a hobby, becoming and staying involved in the arts is an enriching way to express yourself while benefiting your health.