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Cultural leisure activities and well-being at work: A study among health care professionals

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There is growing evidence of the beneficial effects of cultural activities on health and well-being at work. Employees facing job demands and changes at work might benefit from arts when recovering from mental strain, reflecting on their values and finding new perspectives. The aim of this study was to examine the association between the frequency and type of cultural leisure activities and well-being and creativity at work among health care professionals (N=336). We analysed the association of creative leisure activities (art-making or creative expression) and receptive cultural activities (consuming culture) with well-being at work in the following outcomes: creative working mode, personal achievement and work engagement. A higher frequency of cultural leisure activities was associated with well-being at work. Both types of cultural activities were associated with a sense of personal achievement at work, but only creative leisure activities were associated with the creative working mode. In contrast, only receptive cultural activities were associated with work engagement. Sense of coherence, a marker of individual resources for successfully coping with stress, and organizational support of a creative working climate were analysed as covariates. Neither of these explained the associations between cultural activities and well-being at work. Creative hobbies and consuming culture on a weekly basis are both related to well-being at work. In line with earlier studies, the results support cultural activities as a possible empowering factor in occupational well-being among health care professionals.
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Keywords: coping with stress; creativity; cultural activities; health care employees; occupational well-being; work engagement

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Publication date: 2012-01-11

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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