Brits turn to dancing to make them happier and less stressed

Eight in 10 Brits reckon that dancing makes them happier and less stressed.

A study of 2,000 adults found that three quarters feel "happy" after shimmying around their home.

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 fitness brand Zumba, found 67% wished they could dance more often, although 41% 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."

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The study also found more than eight in 10 Brits agreed that dancing is a good form of exercise while the 69% who enjoy dancing average two hours and 15 minutes of the activity every month.

More than a quarter (28%) said dancing has provided them with great memories and 23% said it helps connect them with friends.

Nearly four in 10 (37%) even said moving to music helps them forget all their troubles, with 42% 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.

But while 57% think dance proficiency is something you can learn, a quarter believe it's a skill you're born with.

Dr Peter Lovatt, speaking on behalf of Zumba, added: "Doing something more physical can be a great way of reducing stress and anxiety – particularly in uncertain times such as these.

"However, few of these physical exertions can be as fun as dancing – there are so many benefits to doing something you enjoy, without necessarily thinking about the positive impact it will have on your body.

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