Singing reduces stress, improves motor function

WASHINGTON — A preliminary study revealed that singing might reduce stress and improve motor function for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The study presented on Wednesday at the on-going Society for Neuroscience 2018 conference showed that those improvements among singing participants are like the benefits of taking medications.

“Some of the symptoms that are improving, such as finger tapping and the gait, don’t always readily respond to medication, but with singing, they’re improving,” said Elizabeth Stegemoller, assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.

The researchers measured heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels for 17 participants in a therapeutic singing group.

Participants also reported feelings of sadness, anxiety, happiness, and anger. Data were collected prior to and following a one-hour singing session.

All three levels were reduced, though the preliminary data did not reach statistical significance.