Choir singing may bring positive effects to the cognitive functioning of elderly people

Among older adults, choir singing has proven to improve mood and quality of life, according to a new study published in PLOS One.

162 people in late-adulthood, with no past history of major illness, were evaluated using a questionnaire. Researchers at the University of Helsinki measured mood, cognitive, social engagement, quality of life, and musical preoccupation.

The participants were divided based on musical experience with choir singing. 74 participants were assessed with neuropsychological testing.

Among the choir singers who participated in neuropsychological testing, they showed improvements in some cognitive domains of executive function, while also demonstrating increased social integration.

The study determined that the choir singers experienced improved verbal flexibility. Choir activity involving a standing posture led to increase social engagement, researchers also found.

The findings, as a whole, showcase the positive effects of choir singing for better health among elderly people.

“We used a comprehensive set of questionnaires and neuropsychological tests to assess participants’ well-being and cognitive performance in a relatively large sample of older adults,” the study reads.

“Overall, the extent to which choir singing can have positive far transfer effects in the more general domains of executive function, attention, and memory function, still remains unknown,” researchers cautioned.

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