Evidence

Libraries save NHS £27.5m per year

New research published by Arts Council England has found a link between libraries and wellbeing and between library use and good health. The research found that being a regular library user is associated with a 1.4% increase in the likelihood of reporting good general health – this was calculated as equating to a cost-saving of £27.5m each year for the NHS.

Research links “purposeful activity” with improved dementia experience

New research has found that purpose in life is associated with a substantially reduced risk of Alzheimer disease and with a greater capacity to cope with the illness.

Social care spend falls by £1bn

Age UK has produced a social care ‘score card’ that shows that the amount spent on social care services for older people has fallen nationally by £1.1 billion (14.4%) since 2010/11.

What Works evidence

The Government has published evidence from its What Works Network to provide evidence for successful local and national policy making. It refers to the potential for cultural commissioning to impact on wellbeing.

Cultural value progress

The Arts and Humanities Research Council has reported on the mid-point of its Cultural Value Project which aims to investigate the value that the arts and culture bring to individuals and to society. The report notes a change in the ways arts organisations are describing arts engagement, assessing “the character and consequences of the experience of arts and cultural engagements.”

Plants in the workspace

New research indicates that office workers are more productive in environments which are enriched by plants and decoration.

A paper published by the American Psychological Association explored the impact on productivity and workplace satisfaction of adding plants to office spaces and compared these to stripped-down environments. Staff worked better and were more satisfied in spaces with additional decoration and the researchers recommend the addition of plants and decoration to all work-spaces.

National health data released

Public Health England’s annual Health Profiles summary has been published offering a snapshot of health and wellbeing across each local authority in England.

Gallery visits at highest level

New data from the quarterly Taking Part survey show that more than half of adults in England (53%) had visited a museum or gallery in the last year, maintaining the high reached in 2012/13 and greater than in any previous year.

78% of adults had attended or participated in the arts while 73% of adults had visited a heritage site.

Long-term analysis of arts in health

The results of a six-month research programme to evaluate the long-term relationship between arts participation and physical/psychological health have been published.

Call for physical activity initiatives

A call has been issued for projects and programmes that demonstrate good or promising practice in increasing levels of physical activity in local communities.

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