Heart charity encourages more Scots to get singing

Jenny Hayley-Douglas and Allan Jay sing to promote the Glasgow King's pantomime Snow White. Singing can be good for your heart, according to experts
Jenny Hayley-Douglas and Allan Jay sing to promote the Glasgow King's pantomime Snow White. Singing can be good for your heart, according to experts
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SINGING is good for your heart and more Scots should flex their vocal chords in the run up to Christmas, according to a new health campaign.

The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological as it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream, a report by Heart Research UK said.

Cormac Stewart, with his parents Alistair and Rosemary, is encouraging more people to get singing in the run up to Christmas

Cormac Stewart, with his parents Alistair and Rosemary, is encouraging more people to get singing in the run up to Christmas

The charity is encouraging singers, choirs, music groups and performers to arrange their own event in December to raise money to help in the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

The ‘Sing for your Heart’ appeal includes a call to pubs in Glasgow and Edinburgh to put on their own fundraising sing–a-long for the local community in the run up to Christmas.

Heart Research UK has spent £1.3 million on research grants in Scotland in the last 15 years and nearly £100,000 on healthy heart grants in the last 10 years.

Cormac Stewart (10), from Eaglesham, is supporting Heart Research UK after undergoing life-saving heart surgery as a baby.

The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological

Professor Graham Welch

The youngster, who attends St Benedict’s Primary in Easterhouse, had open heart surgery when he was three days and seven days old to correct a blood flow problem called pulmonary atresia.

He had further open heart surgery when he was three years old and will need up to two more operations until he is fully grown.

“It would be great if people could Sing for Your Heart in the run up to Christmas and raise funds to help other poorly children with heart problems,” said Cormac.

Barbara Harpham, Heart Research UK national director, said: “Everyone can Sing for their Hearts, whether you’re in a band, choir or just partial to a bit of karaoke.”

“It’s the perfect excuse to get together with friends, family and colleagues to have fun and raise money for Heart Research UK particularly in the run up to Christmas when everyone is feeling festive.”

Professor Graham Welch, chairman of music education at the Institute of Education, University of London, has studied developmental and medical aspects of singing for 30 years.

He said: “The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting.“

A recent study by the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found musical structure influenced the heart rate of choir members. Bjorn Vickhoff, who led a study, said: “Singing is good for your health. Our research indicates that it may even be good for your heart. Further research in this field is much needed, such as the long term effect of choir singing.”

Heart Research UK funded six of the first eight heart transplants in the UK and continues to support clinical and surgical projects.

In the last 10 years the charity has funded over £10.6m on research projects in hospitals and universities across the UK as well as £1.2m on community-based lifestyle projects that aim to prevent or reduce the risks of heart disease.

For more information on the Sing for your Heart campaign, visit the charity’s website.