IMAGE : Article from Sunday Times, Body + Soul Magazine 10 January 2016
BELOW: Original article about the research by Anglia Ruskin University
Published: 7 December 2015 by Anglia Ruskin University original article
New research by Anglia Ruskin Professor shows benefits of attending art classes
New research shows that attending life drawing classes has a positive effect on body image, particularly for women.
Viren Swami, Professor of Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, carried out two separate studies which will be published by the journal Psychiatry Research.
The first study, conducted between January and May 2015, involved 138 men and women, aged between 18 and 76, who regularly attended life drawing classes.
Amongst women, greater attendance was significantly associated with higher body appreciation and a lower drive for thinness and social physique anxiety. For men, greater attendance was significantly associated with higher body appreciation.
Because of the possibility the classes might attract individuals who already possessed positive body image, the second study involved 37 women taking part in a life drawing session for the first time.
Professor Swami, of Anglia Ruskin’s Psychology department, said:
“These studies indicate that life drawing classes may promote an embodying experience that leads to a healthier body image amongst participants.
“Life drawing sessions may also provide spaces for people to explore relationships with their own bodies and critically appraise media depictions of ‘idealised’ bodies.
“If the results of these studies can be replicated and extended, life drawing may emerge as an effective means of promoting healthier body image across the population.”