Blog posts & articles

Can a museum visit really contribute to your wellbeing?

Professor Helen Chatterjee answers this question in this Museums and Chill podcast with a resounding 'yes'. She is Professor at University College London, co-founder of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance and advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts and Health in the UK. She has widely spoken and worked with museums on health and wellbeing.

She discusses her experience of programmes from museums around the world. In her research she found that those programmes are most beneficial that make use of the variety of assets that museums have, such as the collections, the heritage, the spaces, the staff. Those programmes that engage people on multiple levels – cognitive, physical, social and in inspiring and enjoyable environments, provide the richest benefits for people's health and wellbeing.

Particularly interesting is her observation that a museum’s more conscious involvement with health and wellbeing often starts with one programme and/or one person, often in the learning or public programmes field. At some museums, she cites Newcastle’s Tyne and Wear Museums or the Whitworth in Manchester as examples, this has led to health and wellbeing now being embedded strategically across the whole museum. It has resulted in increases in funding as well as a shift in attitude towards the museums and the role they can play.

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Blog posts & articles

Can a museum visit really contribute to your wellbeing?

Professor Helen Chatterjee answers this question in this Museums and Chill podcast with a resounding 'yes'. She is Professor at University College London, co-founder of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance and advisor to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts and Health in the UK. She has widely spoken and worked with museums on health and wellbeing.

She discusses her experience of programmes from museums around the world. In her research she found that those programmes are most beneficial that make use of the variety of assets that museums have, such as the collections, the heritage, the spaces, the staff. Those programmes that engage people on multiple levels – cognitive, physical, social and in inspiring and enjoyable environments, provide the richest benefits for people's health and wellbeing.

Particularly interesting is her observation that a museum’s more conscious involvement with health and wellbeing often starts with one programme and/or one person, often in the learning or public programmes field. At some museums, she cites Newcastle’s Tyne and Wear Museums or the Whitworth in Manchester as examples, this has led to health and wellbeing now being embedded strategically across the whole museum. It has resulted in increases in funding as well as a shift in attitude towards the museums and the role they can play.

Interested in more stories like this? Sign up to our monthly newsletter.

Image: Mihai Surdu on Unsplash