AUG 22, 2020 1:29 PM PDT

Can Playing Your Favorite Music Improve Your Physical Performance?

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

If you go to the gym, you will usually see people with headphones jamming out to their favorite music while exercising. If asked, they may say it helps them get a better workout. Does music really help, though?

Studies have examined this phenomenon, but the results aren’t clear. Some suggest a music’s tempo can synchronize with a runner’s step, while others say it may simply be a distraction from the pain and exhaustion from intense exercise. A new study from the University of Campinas in Brazil wanted to determine if a runner’s performance was affected by the type of music they listened to, specifically preferred music over non-preferred.

To do this, the team gathered ten men and ten women and studied how listening to their preferred music effected their aerobic threshold intensity. Aerobic threshold intensity is the point where lactic acid, a byproduct that is commonly associated with the soreness you feel after a workout, is both made and cleared at the same rate. Anything beyond this threshold is considered a severe workout, where pain and exhaustion become much more pronounced.

After the study was complete, the team found no overall correlation between preferred music and better performance based on the aerobic threshold intensity. However, if you looked at the individual male or female groups, the data showed a slight increase in aerobic threshold intensity performance. This extended to several other performance factors as well.

The study states, “…the preferred music did not significantly affect the physiological and perceptual responses during an incremental test, or the iAT determination.” The team notes that several performance factors improved in male and female groups separately, but could not be seen in the overall data. This, and several other studies, suggests music may affect men and women differently, although this study could not say for sure.

The study concludes, “In summary, preferred music did not affect the iAT determination in an incremental running test, nor the physiological and perceptive responses at this intensity independently of sex.”

Sources: PLOS One, TED

About the Author
  • Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
JUN 24, 2021
Technology
New Hydrogel Designed to Prevent Post-surgical Heart Tissue Adhesions
JUN 24, 2021
New Hydrogel Designed to Prevent Post-surgical Heart Tissue Adhesions
Nearly 20% of cardiac surgery patients will require another operation at some point in the future. This is especially tr ...
JUN 28, 2021
Cardiology
The Electricity of a Beating Heart is Caught on Graphene Camera
JUN 28, 2021
The Electricity of a Beating Heart is Caught on Graphene Camera
When graphene was first developed, it was hailed as a revolutionary material but its potential uses seemed unclear to ma ...
JUN 29, 2021
Cancer
Heart Failure Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
JUN 29, 2021
Heart Failure Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
A study by researchers in Germany suggests that patients with heart failure are more likely to develop cancer than those ...
JUL 16, 2021
Cardiology
Therapeutic Exosome Spray May One Day Aid Heart Attack Recovery
JUL 16, 2021
Therapeutic Exosome Spray May One Day Aid Heart Attack Recovery
When the flow of blood to the heart is blocked, heart cells don't get enough oxygen and begin to die; this is a heart at ...
AUG 11, 2021
Cardiology
Vaping Seems to Rapidly Increase Oxidative Stress
AUG 11, 2021
Vaping Seems to Rapidly Increase Oxidative Stress
Even though we know now that vaping is harmful and addictive, it's still thought to be healthier than smoking cigarettes ...
SEP 16, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Your T-Shirt Could Soon Tell You if Your Heart Is Ok
SEP 16, 2021
Your T-Shirt Could Soon Tell You if Your Heart Is Ok
Forget uncomfortable chest straps or clunky wristbands—thanks to a new innovation in nanotechnology, your t-shirt ...
Loading Comments...