All the music lovers out there can heave a sigh of relief. Your long hours spent standing in line to get into shows, and the exhaustion that comes with being on your feet for hours in a crowd of sweaty people, just to watch your favorite bands perform at timings way past your bedtime, have finally paid off, according to a new study by O2.
Your efforts may have contributed to improving your well-being significantly, as the scientific study conducted in collaboration with Patrick Fagan, a behavioral science expert and Associate Lecturer at Goldsmith’s University, found that frequent concert attendance could boost life expectancy by at least nine years.
Popular music and entertainment venue O2 certainly does have its reasons to investigate the effect of concert-going on health, but the research supports previous studies that indicate that attending music gigs has a positive impact on health.
According to the study, merely 20 minutes at a show was demonstrated to increase feelings of well-being in a person by at least 21 percent. Another study of 1,000 participants by Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, also drew a connection between communal music engagement and high levels of satisfaction with their lives.
The increase in feelings of well-being indicated by O2 and Fagan’s research was supported by additional research that suggests that increased feelings of well-being could be correlated with an increase in the lifespan of at least nine years.
Gig attendance was not the only activity studied. The findings followed a variety of psychometric and heart-rate tests that examined the effects of a number of activities on a person’s well-being, including yoga and dog-walking.
Attending a gig was shown to increase key markers of happiness across the spectrum. Participants reported a 25 percent increase in closeness to others, as well as a 25 percent increase in feelings of self-worth, and mental stimulation increased by a massive 75 percent.
Complementary research studies showed that people who went to live music shows at least once every two weeks or more were more likely than other respondents to give the highest level of scores (10 out of 10) to their contentment, happiness, self-esteem, and productivity.
The CMO of O2, Nina Bibby, said, “We all know just how good it is seeing your favorite band or artist live, but now we have the proof.” The study certainly did seem to suggest that live music had a long-term impact on well-being.
However, the benefits of listening to music do not appear to extend to when people listen to music alone, in private. Over two-thirds of all British people surveyed admitted that live music made them feel happier than listening to music at home.
The importance of the collective experience is emphasized through all these studies, which indicate that shared social experiences are the key to enhanced wellbeing. Fagan commented, “Our research showcases the profound impact gigs have on feelings of health, happiness, and wellbeing – with fortnightly or regular attendance being the key.”
The researcher added, “Combining all of our findings with O2’s research, we arrive at a prescription of a gig a fortnight, which could pave the way for almost a decade more years of life.” So the next time someone offers you free tickets, don’t hesitate to take them.