Not only is singing a great way to raise money, research shows that it's also good for your heart.
Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, has studied the developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years. He found that the health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. “Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour."
All for One choir, one of our supporters, also advocates the importance of singing to help keep your heart healthy. Choir members sang for their hearts when they performed a flash mob in Princes Quay Shopping Centre in Hull.
Regular exercising of the vocal cords can even prolong life, according to research done by leading vocal coach and singer Helen Astrid, from The Helen Astrid Singing Academy in London. "It’s a great way to keep in shape because you are exercising your lungs and heart. Not only that, your body produces ‘feel good’ hormones called endorphins, which rush around your body when you sing. It’s exactly the same when you eat a bar of chocolate. The good news with singing is that you don’t gain any calories!"
Singing even helps you live longer according to the findings of a joint Harvard and Yale study which showed that choral singing increased the life expectancy of the population of New Haven, Connecticut. The report concluded that this was because singing promoted both a healthy heart and an enhanced mental state. Another study at the University of California has reported higher levels of immune system proteins in the saliva of choristers after performing a complex Beethoven masterwork.
Bjorn Vickhoff, who led a study at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden into music and wellbeing, also believes that singing has positive effects on your health. The study showed how musical structure influenced the heart rate of choir members. “Singing is good for your health. Our research indicates that it may even be good for your heart. Further research in this field is much needed, such as the long term effect of choir singing.”