Effectiveness of a participative community singing program to improve health behaviors and increase physical activity in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
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Background: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals continue to experience greater levels of chronic disease than the general Australian population. Evidence suggests that increased sedentary behaviors compared with the traditional healthy and active lifestyles of this population have contributed to this situation. This investi gation aimed to examine the health benefits of a community-based singing activity intervention on chronic disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Methods: From 2010 to 2011, 291 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, from Queensland, Australia, were recruited through five communities to participate in a 1-year community singing program. Participants completed a survey, in the pre- and post-intervention phases of the study, that measured social connectedness, health behavior (e.g., smoking, alcohol consumption), frequency of exercise and art activities, and medication use. Results: Improvements in health behavior were observed for both male and female participants with chronic disease of all age groups in the community singing program. Improvements in the male and female participants included decreased social loneliness and reduced smoking behavior, increased social support, and increased participation in exercise and art activities. Conclusions: The participative community singing program was successful in improving the health status and increasing physical activity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults.
International Journal of Disability and Human Development
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health