Leisure time activities and biomarkers of chronic stress: The mediating roles of alcohol consumption and smoking.
Scandinavian journal of public health
AIMS: Previous research found an association between leisure time activities such as arts and cultural activities and self-reported health over the life course-a measure prone to response bias. This study tested the relationship between arts and cultural activities and allostatic load, a biomarker of chronic stress, and examined risky health behaviors, including alcohol consumption and smoking, as possible mediators.METHODS: The sample consists of 8948 adults from the second wave of the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study, which is representative of the British population. The cross-sectional association between arts and cultural activities and allostatic load was tested with negative binomial models, and the mediation roles of alcohol consumption and smoking in the association was tested with the Karlson-Holm-Breen (KHB) decomposition method.RESULTS: Frequent participation in arts, frequent attendance of cultural events, visits to museums or galleries, and visits to historical sites have negative associations with allostatic load. The associations are mediated by lower frequency of alcohol drinking and smoking.CONCLUSIONS: Cultural capital may promote health by reducing the frequency of health risk behaviors such as drinking alcohol and smoking. Future research and public health policies should consider whether cultural capital acts as a social determinant of health to promote healthy leisure activities over the life course.
View details for DOI 10.1177/1403494820987461
View details for PubMedID 33570003