Abstract: Developed countries are experiencing high levels of mental and physical illness associated with long term health conditions, unhealthy lifestyles and an ageing population. Given the limited capacity of the formal health care sector to address these public health issues, attention is turning to the role of agencies active in civil society. This paper sought to evaluate the associations between participation in community centre activities, the psycho-social wellbeing and health related behaviours. This was based on an evaluation of the South West Well-being programme involving ten organisations delivering leisure, exercise, cooking, befriending, arts and crafts activities. The evaluation consisted of a before-and-after study with 687 adults. The results showed positive changes in self-reported general health, mental health, personal and social well-being. Positive changes were associated with diet and physical activity. Some activities were different in their outcomes—especially in cases where group activities were combined with one-to-one support. The results suggest that community centre activities of this nature offer benefits that are generically supportive of health behaviour changes. Such initiatives can perform an important role in supporting the health improvement objectives of formal health care services. For commissioners and partner agencies, accessibility and participation are attractive features that are particularly pertinent to the current public health context.
Keywords: community development; arts and health; healthy living; holistic programmes; well-being
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Jones, M.; Kimberlee, R.; Deave, T.; Evans, S. The Role of Community Centre-based Arts, Leisure and Social Activities in Promoting Adult Well-being and Healthy Lifestyles. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 1948-1962.
Jones M, Kimberlee R, Deave T, Evans S. The Role of Community Centre-based Arts, Leisure and Social Activities in Promoting Adult Well-being and Healthy Lifestyles. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(5):1948-1962.
Jones, Mat; Kimberlee, Richard; Deave, Toity; Evans, Simon. 2013. "The Role of Community Centre-based Arts, Leisure and Social Activities in Promoting Adult Well-being and Healthy Lifestyles." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 5: 1948-1962.