Study: Adult education classes, in any subject, can boost mental and physical health


Health ben­e­fits of evening class­es revealed (Sci­ence Daily):

Those with a taste for adult edu­ca­tion class­es have long known it, but now Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty sci­en­tists have con­firmed that tak­ing part in the week­ly ses­sions can boost well­be­ing — regard­less of the sub­ject stud­ied.

In part­ner­ship with the Work­er’s Edu­ca­tion­al Asso­ci­a­tion (WEA), the largest vol­un­tary sec­tor provider of adult edu­ca­tion in Eng­land and Scot­land, a team from Oxford’s depart­ment of exper­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gy stud­ied atten­dees at sev­en sep­a­rate day-time adult edu­ca­tion classes…Overall, atten­dees at all sev­en class­es had improved men­tal and phys­i­cal health and report­ed more sat­is­fac­tion with their lives at the end of their courses.

An intrigu­ing find­ing was in the singing and cre­ative writ­ing classes…The results showed that those in the singing and cre­ative writ­ing groups built up rela­tion­ships with oth­er indi­vid­u­als more quick­ly than the crafters, and singers felt more con­nect­ed to the class as a whole more quick­ly than both the oth­er groups.”

Study: Is Group Singing Spe­cial? Health, Well-Being and Social Bonds in Com­mu­ni­ty-Based Adult Edu­ca­tion Class­es (Jour­nal of Com­mu­ni­ty & Applied Social Psychology)

  • From the abstract: Evi­dence demon­strates that group singing improves health and well-being, but the pre­cise mech­a­nisms remain unknown. Giv­en that cohe­sive social net­works also pos­i­tive­ly influ­ence health, we focus on the social aspects of singing, explor­ing whether improve­ments in health and well-being are medi­at­ed by stronger social bonds, both to the group as a whole (col­lec­tive-bond­ing) and to indi­vid­ual class­mates (rela­tion­al-bond­ing). To do so, sev­en new­ly formed com­mu­ni­ty-based adult edu­ca­tion class­es (four singing, N=84, and three com­par­i­son class­es study­ing cre­ative writ­ing or crafts, N=51) were fol­lowed over sev­en months. Self-report ques­tion­naire data on men­tal and phys­i­cal health, well-being and social bond­ing were col­lect­ed at Months 1, 3 and 7. We demon­strate that phys­i­cal and men­tal health and sat­is­fac­tion with life sig­nif­i­cant­ly improved over time in both conditions…singing may not improve health and well-being more than oth­er types of activ­i­ties. Nonethe­less, these find­ings encour­age fur­ther work to refine our under­stand­ing of the social aspects of com­mu­ni­ty-based adult edu­ca­tion class­es in pro­mot­ing health, well-being and com­mu­ni­ty cohesion.

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SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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