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They say laughter is the best medicine, but eight in 10 people reckon that dancing is also great at making them happier and less stressed.

A survey of 2,000 British 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.

The poll, commissioned by Zumba, found 67 per cent wished they could dance more often, although 41 per cent admitted they were ‘quite bad’ or ‘appalling’ at it. Not that that matters so much.

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.

Dr Lovatt explains a little of how the science works: “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.

The OnePoll survey showed that more than a quarter (28 per cent) said dancing has provided them with great memories, and 23 per cent said it helps connect them with friends.

Nearly four in 10 (37 per cent) even said moving to music helps them forget all their troubles, with 42 per cent believing dancing allows them to ‘lose themselves’.

Dr 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… 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.”

It sounds like it really is time to dust off those dancing shoes and get those happy hormones going.