- Jul 10 2014
When we sing, our bodies experience a number of reactions. For example, the endorphins released as one belts out a tune causes a feeling of elation. Oxytocin, another hormone produced during singing, has been linked to reduced anxiety and stress as well as an enhanced feeling of trust. Overall, researchers conclude that singers experience several cumulative benefits that contribute to the overall quality of life.
To investigate the benefits of group singing, researchers compared the effects of singing alone, playing a sport in a group or singing in a group. While all activities produced high levels of psychological wellbeing, individuals singing in choirs stood out above the rest. This combination of singing and group interaction can be particularly beneficial, and easily implemented, in the work environment. Researchers note that corporate choirs not only contribute to individual confidence and stronger communication, but programs can serve as low-cost solutions to improve wellbeing.
A study conducted by Sweden’s University of Gothenburg concluded that the controlled breathing required for singing achieves similar health effects as practicing yoga. More specifically, researchers believe that singing imposes a breathing pattern on the singer, which positively affects ones heart rate as well as the control over their mental state.
Whether individuals participate for health reasons, to increase social interaction, or simply for the love of music, there is a huge uptick in choir participation. In the US alone, 32.5 million adults have joined one of the 270,000 choruses in the country – an increase of nearly 10 million over the past six years.
A growing number of companies in a variety of industries, ranging from banks to consulting firms, are jumping onto the trend and presenting corporate choirs as a perk to existing or potential employees. The opportunity to participate in choirs has helped with retention rates as employees associate the fun activity with the workplace and view it as a tool to balance work and personal time.
The trend has become so popular in the UK that the BBC network created a reality series following a corporate choir competition. According to the network, singing brings employees together, breaks down barriers and builds a stronger workforce.
Do you think company choirs create a draw for employees and deserve to be developed?
While the word “choir” may conjure up images of churches or school groups, today there is a new hotbed for organized singing: The office. As singing has long been linked to improved health and wellbeing – from simply feeling happier to improving symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or depression – more and more companies are forming corporate choirs to bring these benefits into the workplace.
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