Study explores impact of singing and dancing on healthy aging | On


Researchers from the University of Stirling are exploring how song and dance can promote healthy aging and improve the mental wellbeing of care home residents.

Working with Balhousie Care Group, the research team will spend six months monitoring residents’ health, social and mental well-being before and after a 12-week program of online music and movement sessions, delivered by the danceSing Care provider.

Residents and staff will also provide feedback on the sessions through interviews and focus groups.

Professor Anna Whittaker, study leader at the university’s Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, said: “Our SPARKLE research group is studying the impact of physical activity on healthy aging. . This project is a great opportunity to team up with a digital exercise company and nursing home organization to see how regular engagement with music and movement can influence health and wellbeing. At this initial stage of feasibility, it is also important for us to examine the barriers and facilitators to integrating this type of activity into the care of older people living in nursing homes.

Professor Anna Whittaker is leading the study.

The research – which is taking place in 10 Balhousie care homes across Scotland – follows a recent study by Professor Whittaker into the positive impact of resistance training on improving frailty in older people .

Sheilah Harvey, Head of Operations at Balhousie Care Group, said: “We are delighted to be participating in this study with danceSing Care and the University of Stirling Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences. We all know we feel better after a song, a dance and some physical movement, and the positive effect on our residents is clear to us in their mood, interactions and physique.

Natalie Garry, of danceSing Care, said: “The danceSing Care experience was developed not only for the people in care themselves, but also for the carers. It can create solid change and help create a happy, vibrant community with a core of wellness and fitness enhancement. We know anecdotally that our music and movement lessons are great for wellbeing, but we’re really excited to team up with academics from the University of Stirling and Balhousie, as a care home provider, to scientifically test this.


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