Five, six, seven, eight! All together now, let’s spread those jazz hands and get moving, because synchronized dancing improves our tolerance of pain and helps us bond as humans, researchers suggest October 28 in Biology Letters.
A team of psychologists at the University of Oxford taught high school students varied dance routines — each requiring different levels of exertion and synchronized movement — and then tested their pain tolerance with the sharp squeeze of a blood pressure cuff. Statistically, routines with more coordinated choreography and full body movement produced higher pain thresholds and sunny attitudes toward others in the group.
Coordinated dancing with a group and exerting more energy may independently promote the release of pain-blocking endorphins as well as increase social bonding, the team writes.