For wellbeing, sing a different tune

21 Feb 2019 By Lauren Rebecca Brown

A study found company choirs bring a huge boost to employees' health

Efforts to boost employee wellbeing span everything from CBT to sushi. But could the answer actually lie in a more musical direction? 

Research by the University of Leicester found people who participated in workplace choirs felt less stressed by their work and more supported by their colleagues.

The study, revealed at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology, looked at 58 people working in a variety of organisations who attended choir sessions at work. 

Participants completed questionnaires measuring their work-related demands and levels of control and support. The extent to which attending choir sessions was believed to influence levels of stress and support was also assessed. 

Overall, there was a 96 per cent reduction in work-related stress and an 86 per cent reduction in feelings of social isolation among singers. 

Researcher Joanna Foster said: “Previous research has found that group singing can improve health. We found that participants felt less stressed and more socially connected after singing. In fact, they gained more support from the choir than from other social interactions at work. Singing is fun and free, or relatively cheap if organised by a third-party provider. 

“Organisations should consider encouraging their staff to regularly participate in singing groups to improve wellbeing, engagement and potentially job performance.”

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