For the first time in history it seemed drummers finally had one up on their frontmen and women with the news last week of a new workout program based off the weight-loss potential of drumming.
But singers have taken their own back, as health professionals worldwide promote the benefits of singing, ranging everywhere from good looks to a longer life span.
UK paper The Telegraph‘s resident medical expert and regular columnist, Dr. James Le Fanu, is the latest to sing the praises of music’s benefcts, specificially its ability to increase lung capacity, improve posture, clear the sinuses, boost mental alertness and exercise facial muscles – “helping to maintain youthful good looks.”
“Singing involves virtually every muscle group,” says Dr Le Fanu, “vibrating the whole system like a tonic massage.”
If you turn up your nose at the idea of taking medical advice from a newspaper, the illuminated minds at no less than Harvard and Yale have backed up The Telegraph, with a research aper published suggesting that singing even increases life expectancy, according to Heart Research UK.
The joint university study examined the population of New Haven, Connecticut, and found that the “healthy heart and advanced mental state” that resulted from choral singing was seeing residents live longer.
Which might also go some ways towards explaining how Mick Jagger is still going strong 50 years on, against all rational expectation to the contrary.
Closer to home, VicHealth reports that there are also mental health benefits associated with group singing, including “increased levels of social connectedness, increased sense of belonging, physical and emotional benefits, and reduced personal stress.”
Group singing results in “increased self-confidence, empowerment, wellbeing and interpersonal skills, a general lifting of the spirits and a sense of joy and accomplishment, lowered feelings of social isolation, depression and anxiety, increased social capital through participation in social, cultural and community activities and denser social and friendship networks,” the study found.
So with your looks, life span and general happiness all set to increase from the simple habit of singing with friends, there’s never been a better time to break out the karaoke machine.
Just make sure you’re not driving when you’re belting out your favourite song, as a recent scientific study shows it could have the opposite effect on your health, with studies showing it makes you a bad driver.