Nordic countries have long had a fondness for singing, but new research suggests that it should not just be confined to drunken social gatherings.
Singing may also have positive effects on an individual’s health, particularly when it comes to the uncomfortable condition of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
An inter-university study across Sweden set out to discover whether choir singing produces additional stress-related benefits compared to other group activities, following earlier findings that suggested a good singsong stimulates feelings of energy, joy and relaxation. Positive psychological and biological advantages have been measured in the past after the activity, where elevated oxytocin concentration has been found to motivate the body.
The latest study hopes to prove that being in a choir can boost testosterone levels and aid anabolic regeneration, notably in sufferers of IBS who typically suffer from low levels of oxytocin. The research team, which published its findings in the latest Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics medical journal, confirmed that choir singing can increase saliva testosterone which is both regenerative and stress-reducing, reports The Local.
“It is documented that starting activities can help to accelerate the body’s process to regenerate cells, which is fundamental to health. What we have found is that choir groups show a clearly heightened regeneration in comparison to other activities,” said Professor Tores Theorell of the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University. “We would love to look at what would happen at workplaces and the impact on the general health of staff, if cultural activities were introduced and encouraged,” he added.