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The Health Benefits of Music and Dance

The Health Benefits of Music and Dance


Who would have thought that tapping your feet to a catchy tune or gracefully moving to the rhythm of a dance could actually have health benefits? Let's unpack this intriguing concept and explore the findings of a recent study that sheds light on the health impacts of music and dance participation.

Unveiling the Surprising Connection

So, what's the deal with performing arts and health? Well, it turns out that engaging in activities like music and dance can actually be good for us. A recent research paper, written by J. Matt McCrary, PhD, Professor Emma Redding, PhD, and Professor Eckart Altenmüller, MD, delved into the health impacts of music and dance participation. This review aimed to consolidate and analyze existing evidence to understand how these artistic activities affect our well-being.

The Intriguing Abstract

The abstract of the study highlights some thought-provoking insights. It mentions that while the health benefits of arts engagement are increasingly recognized, the specific effects and optimal modes of arts participation remain unclear. The study focused on performing arts participation, encompassing both music and dance, and revealed that it is a broadly health-promoting activity. The findings emphasized that even minimal participation in performing arts could yield positive health effects across various age groups and health domains.

The Allure of Performing Arts

Participation in the performing arts, particularly music and dance, has been gaining popularity. It's fascinating to note that up to 40% of EU and US adults engage in these activities every year. The review emphasizes that performing arts participation combines creative expression with intrinsic physical exertion, making it a unique avenue for promoting health. This blend of creativity and physical activity sets performing arts apart and makes it an intriguing subject for health-related studies.

Unraveling the Evidence

The study sought to address the gap in understanding the health impacts of performing arts participation. It aimed to compile and critically appraise evidence regarding the effects of music and dance on the well-being of individuals across different age groups. Additionally, the review aimed to gather data on the physical intensity of various modes of performing arts participation to better comprehend the relationship between physical activity and observed health effects.

The Methodological Approach

The review was meticulously conducted, with a focus on integrating three key components. Firstly, a systematic review of systematic reviews of the health benefits of performing arts participation was undertaken. This was followed by a systematic review of observational studies investigating the impact of performing arts participation on mortality and non-communicable disease risk. Lastly, a systematic review of studies on heart rate responses to performing arts participation was carried out.

Closing Thoughts

The findings of this umbrella review shed light on the potential health benefits of music and dance participation. They underscore the need for further research to fully comprehend the nuanced relationship between performing arts and well-being. This study serves as a crucial foundation for future investigations in this domain, paving the way for a deeper understanding of the health impacts of engaging in the performing arts.

So, there you have it! Who would have thought that your love for music or dance could actually contribute to your well-being? It's truly fascinating how the things we enjoy for leisure can have unexpected positive effects on our health. This study opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, and it'll be exciting to see where future research takes us in this captivating field.

Until next time, keep grooving to your favorite tunes and swaying to the rhythm of life!

Citation: J. Matt McCrary, Emma Redding, and Eckart Altenmüller, “Performing Arts as a Health Resource? An Umbrella Review of the Health Impacts of Music and Dance Participation,” February 12, 2021,


  • Performing Arts: Performing arts refer to artistic activities such as music and dance that involve live performances by individuals or groups.

  • Systematic Review: A systematic review is a rigorous and comprehensive method of summarizing and analyzing existing research studies on a specific topic.

  • Observational Studies: Observational studies are research methods that involve observing and analyzing individuals or groups to understand the effects of certain factors on health outcomes.

  • Heart Rate Responses: Heart rate responses refer to the changes in heart rate that occur in response to different activities or stimuli.