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ESRC national wellbeing programme looks at sporting and cultural benefits


Academics at Brunel University London have been awarded a £1 million national ESRC grant to look at how sporting and cultural activities can benefit people’s wellbeing.

The three-year grant, awarded by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council), is one of four collaborative awards considering evidence for wellbeing measures and translating them into easy-to-use information about effectiveness, cost and applicability.

Brunel’s Professor of Gerontology and Public Health, Christina Victor, will lead the culture, sport and wellbeing evidence programme with a team from Brunel (Dr Louise Mansfield, Professor Tess Kay, Dr Catherine Meads, Dr Louise Longworth and Dr Annette Payne) alongside colleagues at the University of Brighton, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the University of Winchester.

Professor Victor said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the evidence review programme to examine the links between culture, sport and wellbeing. Our project will look not just at how culture and sport can promote wellbeing, but also at how long these benefits last and how they may be differentially experienced by different groups within the population.” 

The full programme spans 12 universities and five civil society groups, and reaches internationally through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). More detailed information on the teams and the work of the evidence programmes can be found at