Dancing and reading have something in common

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

child reading
Crack open a book and exercise your mind.

If you ever find me at a school dance, you’ll notice one thing and one thing only; I can’t dance to save my life! However, I don’t let that fact stop me from going onto the dance floor and making a fool of myself. It’s fun! According to research from the Scottish government, it’s excellent for my health, too!

The government sent a Scottish Household Survey to 14,358 houses between 2010 and 2011, asking citizens to report on their activities and how healthy they were for the past year. Apparently, the people who participated in creative and cultural activities were 38% more likely to be healthy than people who didn’t. My, oh my, 38% huh? As if I needed another excuse to go to the next school dance!

Well, what if you were born with two left feet? Dancing doesn’t seem like the best thing for you to do if you’re tripping over yourself and getting injured, right? Well, it’s not all about dancing when it comes to staying healthy. Based on the data from the study, people who simply watched festive events were 60% more likely to be healthy than those who didn’t. That’s almost twice as much as actually participating!

Let’s be honest though, it can get tiring to be on the dance floor all night long until curfew. Sometimes, a little break to catch my breath is needed. What’s a gal to do to keep up with her health? Read. Yup! According to the study, people who went to libraries were 20% more likely to be healthy, while people who read for fun were even healthier. Other beneficial activities included going to plays at the theater, visiting museums, and reading for fun.

Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said, “Starting young, and being encouraged to take part in culture as a child, makes it more likely that the benefits of taking part will be experienced as an adult.”

You know what that means right? At your next school dance, get out on the dance floor until your about to drop, and when you feel like you can’t anymore, read a book. Not too conventional, but definitely good for you.

Image of reading boy courtesy of Tim Pierce on Flickr.