Are workers who sing together happier?

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It's a novel idea, but joining a choir at work might lower your stress levels while on the job, a new British study suggests.

The research, by Joanna Foster and Dr Catherine Steele from the University of Leicester, focused on 58 people who were part of workplace choirs in different organisations. The employees then completed questionnaires that assessed their work-related demands, control and support.

The study concluded that being part of a workplace choir was associated with lower levels of work-related stress and a feeling of having more support from co-workers.

Joanna Foster, co-author of the study, said, "Previous research has found that group singing can improve physical and mental health. Our study investigated whether singing with colleagues in a workplace choir can reduce workplace stress and enhance feelings of support.

"We found that participants felt less stressed about their work and more socially connected after singing."

The findings were recently presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology which took place in Chester, England.

Research presented at meetings is considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Joanna Foster also pointed out that starting a choir group can be easy and noted, "Singing is fun and free, or relatively cheap if organised by a third-party provider. Organisations should seriously consider encouraging their staff to regularly participate in singing groups to improve wellbeing, engagement, and potentially job performance."

Last reviewed 11 January 2019

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