One observation in the WHO study states that "dance has been found repeatedly to provide clinically meaningful improvements in motor scores for people with Parkinson’s disease".
Engaging with the arts can be beneficial for both mental and physical health. This is a key conclusion of a new report from the WHO Regional Office for Europe analysing the evidence from over 900 global publications – the most comprehensive review of evidence on arts and health to date.
“Bringing art into people’s lives through activities including dancing, singing, and going to museums and concerts offers an added dimension to how we can improve physical and mental health,” says Dr Piroska Östlin, WHO Regional Director for Europe a.i.
“The examples cited in this groundbreaking WHO report show ways in which the arts can tackle ‘wicked’ or complex health challenges such as diabetes, obesity and mental ill health. They consider health and well-being in a broader societal and community context, and offer solutions that common medical practice has so far been unable to address effectively,” Dr Östlin explains.
The report reviews arts activities that seek to promote health and prevent ill health, as well as manage and treat physical and mental ill health and support end-of-life care.
Read more about the study here.
Download the study: What is the evidence on the role of the arts in improving health and well-being? A scoping review (2019)