In a recent study conducted by the University of Oxford Department of Experimental Psychology, researcher Bronwyn Tarr revealed that “getting up and grooving with others has a lot of benefits.”
Music has been used for some time now as a means of treating various medical ailments with dance being used to treat dementia and Parkinson’s and music therapy used for children with autism, but it seems that regardless of your physical or mental wellbeing – dancing is good for you regardless!
The study revealed that as people join together and synchronize their movements to the same beats and rhythm they are at the same time drawn closer by “bonding” over the same music – in some cases pain tolerance has also been raised. The synchronized movements helps foster trust among the different people dancing together to create a sense of solidarity among the dancers.
In addition endorphins, or the brain’s “happy chemicals” are released when we exercise – or in this case dance. The social closeness that humans feel when engaging in synchronized activities can be explained by the release of endorphins, which would make sense why dancing is such an infectious activity.
As mentioned above, dancing has also seemingly led to a higher pain threshold which is reflected in one of the experiment’s conducted by the study. Rounding up 264 teenagers in Brazil, researchers divided participants into different groups and had them dancing in various manners with some in synchronized groups and others flying solo. Before and after the activity, we measured the teenagers’ feelings of closeness to each other via a questionnaire. We also measured their pain threshold by attaching and inflating a blood pressure cuff on their arm, and determining how much pressure they could stand.
Eventually, the results would reveal that synchronization would lead to higher pain thresholds regardless of whether the synchronized activities were exertive or not. In essence, as “long as people saw that others were doing the same movement at the same time, their pain thresholds went up.”
If you wanna know more about the ins-and-outs of the research methods and the rest of the study you can read the full report by Miss Tarr and her team in PDF format here.