"There's a clear link between what we hear and our health": UK music industry backs Music At Work Week campaign

UK Music and the English National Opera are among the big names to have backed the Music At Work Week Campaign.

The campaign is the brainchild of academic and author Dr. Julia Jones, and is aimed at encouraging employers to enable their staff to listen to music in the workplace to boost wellbeing and productivity. Music At Work Week is set to take place between November 25 – December 1 2019.

Dr. Jones came up with the idea while writing her book The Music Diet, which highlights the power of music in aiding physical and mental health, particularly for those living with dementia.

Dr. Jones’ studies have identified a clear link between listening to music and easing health problems, particularly dementia. The UK’s first Dementia Village is due to open in Kent in October and Dr. Jones has also curated the music policy there.

Speaking about the campaign, Michael Dugher, CEO of UK Music said; “Music is a key component in human life. This compelling and authoritative book shows a clear link between what we hear and our mental and physical health. Many more of us are likely to succumb to dementia in the future and our musical memories can play a great role in easing its effects. But music can help people of all ages. The Music At Work Week Campaign is an excellent idea and UK Music and I support the drive to persuade bosses to allow their employees to listen to music in the workplace. This can help stimulate productivity and ease stress in an increasingly complex world of working patterns and environments.”

Stuart Murphy, CEO of the English National Opera, added: “Music can transform lives and help physical and mental wellbeing for those of all ages. Music At Work Week is a brilliant campaign and employers will see - and hear - the benefits of allowing staff to listen to music of any genre in the workplace. Having opera in the background continually at ENO (and pop and hip-hop in the background when I worked at MTV) can have a transformative effect on the happiness of staff. The Music Diet as a must read and totally nails the crucial importance of music in human beings' lives and for their health."

Dr. Jones said: “People need to know that consuming a little music each day, at home and/or at work can improve their life. This isn’t a fantasy, it’s fact. Thanks to scientific research we know music triggers important feel good brain chemicals. When the music is also linked to memories from youth the effects are even greater, especially for those living with dementia.”

She added: “My study of neuroscience and music began in the early 1990s and I’ve been prescribing it ever since. There has been decades of scientific research identifying the neuro-chemical responses that occur when the brain is presented with music and my book expands on this.

Humans love music and should listen to more of it. It’s always been this way- the oldest instrument found to date is a 40,000 year old flute! We should all sing, dance and socialise more. And learn an instrument- even the most basic of musical ability can help keep the brain healthy.”

An official campaign press release claimed “Work-related stress and anxiety issues cost the economy billions of pounds each year. Over 15 million working days are lost in the UK each year due to health problems which are predominantly brought on by workload.”

More details can be found at www.musicdiet.co.uk

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