Going to a concert is better for wellbeing than yoga, new research claims

Revellers at a previous Jazz Junction event in Kigali. File

Heading to a concert is more beneficial for your wellbeing than yoga, a new study claims.

Researchers found that people who listened to 20 minutes of live music had a 21 per cent boost in mood, while those who took a yoga class for the same amount of time increased their wellbeing by just 10 per cent.

Previous studies have found that music releases the mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain and that happier people live longer lives.

The study, conducted by researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, suggests listening to live music could add more years to a person’s life

For the study, researchers carried out psychometric tests - tools used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioral style - on 60 people who either went to a Paloma Faith music concert, a yoga session, or walked their dog.

They gave the participants a psychometric test before they performed these activities - which are known stress-busters - to assess their general wellbeing as well as stress levels, happiness and how they get on generally with others.

After completing the 40 question, ten minute quiz the participants were formed into three groups of 20 and fitted with heart rate monitors.

They were then sent off to perform their tasks.

One group went to see Paloma while another group took dogs for a stroll along Regent’s Canal in Kings Cross, London. The third group took part in specially arranged yoga sessions nearby.

Researchers found that those who went to the concert had a 21 per cent boost in mood, while those who took a yoga class only saw a 10 per cent increase. Those who walked their dogs only had a seven per cent hike in happiness.

‘Our research showcases the profound impact gigs have on feelings of health, happiness and wellbeing – with fortnightly or regular attendance being the key,’ said Patrick Fagan, an expert in behavioural science and associate lecturer at Goldsmith’s University in London.

This isn’t the first study to link music to happiness.

A 2011 study published in Nature Neuroscience found that listening to music increased dopamine levels - a chemical that enhances mood - by at least nine percent.

Meanwhile, meta-analysis published in Cell in 2013 revealed music was associated with immunoglobin A, an antibody that helps fight off bacteria, viruses, and other invaders.

Another study published in 2011 found that people who are happier or in better moods were 35 percent less likely to die in the next five years.

Investigators aren’t sure why, but it’s believed that negative moods and chronic stress can cause inflammation - which can contribute to a host of health problems such as heart disease. The absence of chronic stress may reduce that risk.

Researchers of the current study combined their findings with the results of a poll of 2,000 conducted by the 02 Arena, a major concert venue in London.

The results showed those who attend live concerts once a fortnight or more were the most likely to score their personal happiness, contentment, productivity and self-esteem at 10/10.

‘Combining all of our findings with O2’s research, we arrive at a prescription of a gig a fortnight which could pave the way for almost a decade more years of life,’ Fagan said.

Agencies

 

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