Sing Christmas carols for lung health, charity urges

A poll by the British Lung Foundation has revealed the top five carols to improve breathing in people with lung conditions.
Sing for lung health

People with lung conditions should sing Christmas carols to improve their breathing, according to a health charity.

Carol singing can exercise your lungs and increase capacity, the British Lung Foundation says.
Picture: Alamy

The British Lung Foundation, which runs singing groups around the UK, believes singing can increase lung capacity and strengthen muscles, leading to more controlled breathing.

A review of the literature about singing for lung health (SLH) groups and a consensus statement about its benefits, agreed by a group of nurses, other health professionals and the charity, has been published in Primary Care Respiratory Medicine journal.

The group, which convened at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, reviewed available evidence and identified issues related to the role and delivery of SLH.

Top five carols

Meanwhile, a poll of British Lung Foundation singing leaders has identified the top five carols for lung health. Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, White Christmas, When a Child is Born and Let it Snow were chosen because they contain long phrases to extend out breath, and pauses that allow time for singers to inhale.

Around one in five of the UK population will receive a diagnosis of lung disease in their lifetime, and there are 1.2 million people in the UK with a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Imperial College London reader in respiratory medicine Nicholas Hopkinson said: ‘Patients consistently report singing for breathing helps them cope with their lung condition better.

‘The festive singing season is the perfect opportunity for those living with a lung condition to join a group and do some indoor carol singing. It’s a fun way to socialise and exercise your lungs.’

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