It’s a common sighting in fitness gyms to see people running on the treadmill while listening to music through their earphones. A new study discovered that this music strategy may lead people to stick to their workout routines better.
A study by Dr. David Alter of the University Health Network’s Toronto Rehab shows that people who listen to “personalized music playlists” tend to adhere to their cardiac rehabilitation program by 70 percent more than those who don’t use music. “The music tempo-pace synchronization helps cue the person to take their next step or stride and helps regulate, maintain and reinforce their prescribed exercise pace,” said Alter in a news item.
The study investigated 34 cardiac rehab patients of Toronto Rehab who were monitored for their adherence to their prescribed exercise programs. Two thirds of the test group were provided audio devices equipped with personalized playlists, with half of them receiving rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) technology to enhance their synchronization to the tempo of the workout.
Results showed that those with RAS synchronization increased their hours of exercise by up to 70 percent in a week compared to patients who did not listen to music. Dr. Alter said that the rise in exercise hours could yield benefits to the patient’s health. “If this average increase of exercise was sustained for an average 65-year-old male patient, it would correlate with a projected life-expectancy increase of two and a half years,” Alter added.
Details of the study were published in the journal Sports Medicine-Open.