IT’S official – dancing really is the best medicine, with Brits claiming it makes them feel happier and less stressed.
A study of 2,000 adults found eight in 10 feel a boogie boosts their mood, with three quarters feeling ‘happy’ after shimmying around their home.
For seven in 10, dancing helps to relieve their stress after just a few minutes.
And almost half went as far as to say they feel their mental health is better as a result of the activity.
But the study, commissioned by Zumba, found 67 per cent wished they could dance more often, although 41 per cent admitted they were ‘quite bad’ or ‘appalling’ at it.
Psychologist Dr Peter Lovatt, said: “The positive effects of dance have been shown in the scientific literature to help our stress and anxiety in lots of ways, particularly in difficult times like these.
“Dancing helps the mind break away from set patterns of thinking – and that’s why dancing reduces stress.
“When we move our body, it releases different neurochemicals.
“The opioid receptors become more active and that means our pain threshold increases. We feel less pain when we dance.
“We know dancing bonds people together – dancing in unison is good for us, because it encourages social bonding, stimulating the production of endorphins in the brain.”
The study also found more than eight in 10 Brits agreed that dancing is a good form of exercise.
And the 69 per cent who enjoy dancing average two hours and 15 minutes of the activity every month.
More than a quarter, 28 per cent, said dancing has provided them with great memories and 23 per cent said it helps connect them with friends.
Nearly four in 10, 37 per cent, even said moving to music helps them forget all their troubles, with 42 per cent believing dancing allows them to ‘lose themselves’.
It also emerged a third of adults have taken dance classes, or attended a dance-based fitness class, according to the research from OnePoll.
Dr Peter Lovatt spent over 20 years working as a university academic. He set up the Dance Psychology Lab to understand dance and dancers from a psychological, scientific perspective. His research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and his teaching has been highly commended. Find out more about his academic life here
Peter Lovatt is an author and he has written two books: “The Dance Cure, the surprising secret to being smarter, stronger, happier” was first published by Short Books in the UK in 2020. “Dance Psychology, the science of dance and dancers” was first published in the UK in 2018. Peter has also writes commissioned articles. Find out more about his writing life here
Peter Lovatt is an international keynote speaker who delivers groovy keynotes which inspire, entertain and get minds and pulses racing. Peter has given keynote talks around the world and he has worked with organisations from different sectors, for example, in the banking, tech, creative, education, health and automotive industries. Find out more about his keynotes here
Peter Lovatt is a founding director of the Movement in Practice (MiP) Academy. The MiP Academy is a specialist provider of education in the psychology of movement and dance. MiP Academy is an accredited provider of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), Continuing Education (CE) and Continuing Professional Education (CPE), providing both anytime learning and scheduled face-to-face learning opportunities. Find out more about MiP Academy here
Peter Lovatt became known as Dr Dance through his TV and media work. He first appeared as Dr Dance on the Graham Norton Show (BBC) in 2008 and Dr Dance has since made over 1000 appearances across all major UK TV and radio networks, in magazines and newspapers and on stage. Dr Dance has made several stage shows, including “Dance Dr Dance” (2010), “INSPIRED Psychology Danced” (2011) and “Boogie on the Brain” (2018). Find out more about Dr Dance here
Peter Lovatt lives on the beautiful north Norfolk coast with his partner and their two sons.
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