New research finds singing at work reduces stress and loneliness

Benefits of workplace choirs explored in new research from the University.

New research led by Dr Catherine Steele and Joanna Foster from our Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour has revealed that belting out a tune in a choir at work can help to reduce workplace stress and feelings of social isolation.

The researchers found that 96% of participants reported a reduction in stress and 86% felt feelings of loneliness were reduced. The researchers studied 58 people working in a variety of organisations who attended choir sessions.

Joanna Foster 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. 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 seriously consider encouraging their staff to regularly participate in singing groups to improve wellbeing, engagement and potentially job performance.”

This research was presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual Division of Occupational Psychology conference last week.