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Choir singing harmonises hearts

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 01:44

July 25 - A Swedish study shows that when people sing together, their pulse rates synchronise, suggesting health benefits for the heart.

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Music has long had a reputation for soothing the soul, but now scientists have discovered that getting together for a group singalong is also good for the heart. Swedish researchers monitored the pulses of people singing together - and found that within a few bars, their heart rates began to synchronise. Musician Rickard Astrom, who worked on the study, says it's all down to the breathing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER RICKARD ASTROM, PART OF RESEARCH TEAM AT SAHLRENSKA ACADEMY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG, SAYING: "We realised that when you sing, you breath at the same time. A whole choir that sings in unison inhales and exhales at the same time." This in turn has an impact on cardiac activity, as Astrom demonstrates. (UPSOT) (English) MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER RICKARD ASTROM, PART OF RESEARCH TEAM AT SAHLRENSKA ACADEMY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG, SAYING: "I've attached a little ear clip on my ear here and it measures my pulse, you can see my pulse here. And on top here, you see my heart rate." As Astrom begins to sing, the monitor shows his heart rate steadying, something the researchers believe has important health benefits. But they say there may be even more to gain by singing with others. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER RICKARD ASTROM, PART OF RESEARCH TEAM AT SAHLRENSKA ACADEMY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG, SAYING: "Well, the study might show that there is a reason why people have gathered together at all times, in churches, in football games or already in the caves, because something happens when you sing together and it unites people. And I think it's a way to, for humanity to feel more part of a whole." The University of Gothenburg study is hoping to find new ways in which music can be used to improve health. But in the meantime, joining a local choir may be one way to keep your own heart in good working order.

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Choir singing harmonises hearts

Thursday, July 25, 2013 - 01:44