People Who Sing Live Longer

Type of post: Chorus news item
Status: Archived
Date Posted: Sat, Jul 30 2016
Possible benefits of singing to mental & physical condition of retirees

Katsuhisa Sakano, Koufuchi Ryo, [...], and Ichiro Saito

Background

The evaluation and management of stress are important for the prevention of both depression and cardiovascular disease. In addition, the maintenance of the oral condition of the elderly is essential to enable them to stay healthy, especially to prevent aspiration pneumonia and improve mental health in an aging society. Therefore, we examined the efficacy of singing on the oral condition, mental health status, and immunity of the elderly to determine if singing could contribute to the improvement of their physical condition.

Conclusions

The results showed that the amount of saliva increased and the level of cortisol, a salivary stress marker, decreased after singing. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) scores for feeling refreshed, comfortable, pleasurable, light-hearted, relieved, and relaxed; the tension and confusion subscale score; and the total mood disturbance (TMD) score of the Profile of Mood States (POMS) all showed improvements. Furthermore, the same tendencies were shown regardless of whether or not the subjects liked singing. Our results suggest that singing can be effective in improving the mental health and oral condition of the elderly.