It's Healthy to Sing
Health and sickness. Aren't they on everyone's mind these days? COVID-19 has dominated the headlines and caused more than a little reflection on personal health and immune system strength. Which people have been most likely to get sick? Those with weak or compromised immune systems. Which people has the virus been hardest on? The same group of people. There fortunately appears to be a light at the end of the COVID tunnel, but while it persists and long after it's gone, people will be assessing their health habits and vigilantly preventing whatever virus will come along next.
While the oft-emphasized habits of good hygiene, frequent exercise, and healthy eating set the foundation for disease prevention, another unlikely activity can strengthen the immune system. What is that activity?
That's right. Singing.
That is exactly what a study conducted by the University of Frankfurt concluded in a 2004 study. The researches involved determined that for one thing, singing increases positive affect. Positive affect is the propensity to experience positive emotions despite challenges. This alone is a major finding, as doctors have determined a huge disparity in outcome for individuals who feel positively about the stresses they face, compared to those who feel negatively.
Was there ever a better time to experience positive emotions and think positively about life's stresses?
A result of the study with an even more direct link between singing and good health is the finding that singers' experience increases in immunoglobulin A (S-IgA). This antibody plays a critical part in helping the body to fight sickness. A lack of S-IgA commonly leads to immunodeficiency, meaning that sickness is more likely to be contracted and worsen. It's no stretch to say that frequent singing makes a person a better fighter against illness and disease.
As if all that wasn't enough, the study also found that non-singers experienced decreases in cortisol. Cortisol is an incredible hormone and plays a key role in controlling blood sugar levels, reducing inflammation, regulating blood pressure, and assisting with memory formulation.
Doctors may not prescribe singing, but the evidence is clear. Singing, in addition to many other benefits (boosted confidence, improved sleep, social opportunities, etc.), can help regulate a body and keep it strong to fight off sickness. There's never been a better time to sing. And if you're going to do it, why not learn to do it well? Check out R.O.A.R's voice programmes to unlock a new healthy habit today!