Why I joined a choir (and why it’s the best)

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British scientists have recently found that choirs boost the mental and physical health of their members. Researchers from Oxford Brookes University studied 375 people who sang alone, sang in choirs and played team sports, and found that the choristers experienced the greatest benefits by far. Earlier studies have found choral singing to have benefits for people suffering from depression, lung disease, high blood pressure and Parkinson’s. One study even found that choral singers unconsciously synchronize their heartbeats with other choir members. Psychologist Nick Stewart, who led the Oxford Brookes study, speculated that “it could be that singing in a group gives us something that we have lost as a society.”

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– by: LEAH MCLAREN, Special to The Globe and Mail, Published Friday, Mar. 14 2014, 5:00 PM EDT