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Music makes us enjoy exercise more، finds brain study

Wednesday 21/February/2018 - 12:24 PM
Sada El Balad
Hate going to the gym? A new study may have found a way to make exercise more fun: put on your favorite tune.
Researchers reveal that while listening to music during a workout doesn't increase focus on the task at hand، it does make exercise much more enjoyable. Anadolu Agency said.

Study co-author Marcelo Bigliassi، from Brunel University London in the United Kingdom، and his colleagues came to their findings by using electroencephalography (EEG) technology to monitor the brain's response to music while participants engaged in physical activity.

The researchers recently reported their results in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

It's no secret that music has the ability to elicit emotional responses; research backs up this fact. A song can make us feel happy، sad، angry، empowered، or motivated. The latter is one reason why many of us reach for the headphones when we go for a run.

But how exactly does the brain respond to music when we exercise? It was this that Bigliassi and colleagues set out to answer.

"The brain mechanisms that underlie the psychological effects of auditory stimuli during physical activity are hitherto under-researched; particularly so in ecologically valid settings،" the study authors note.

Music boosted enjoyment of walking
To address this research gap، the team used EEG to assess how music or a podcast affected the brain during exercise، compared with no auditory stimuli.

"The EEG technology facilitated measurement during an ecologically valid outdoor task، so we could finally explore the brain mechanisms that underlie the effects of music during real-life exercise situations،" says Bigliassi.

A total of 24 study participants walked 400 meters on an outdoor track at a pace of their choice under one of three conditions: some subjects walked while listening to 6 minutes of the song Happy by Pharrell Williams; some participants listened to a podcast of a TED talk; and some subjects did not listen to any sound.

During the walking task، the participants' brainwaves were measured using EEG. Also، the scientists assessed how each of the three auditory conditions affected the participants' attention during the walking task، as well as how they affected their feelings of alertness and fatigue.

The researchers found that listening to music led to a 28 percent increase in enjoyment during the walking task، compared with no auditory stimuli. Enjoyment was also 13 percent higher for those who listened to music، compared with those who listened to a podcast.

Edited by rehab sayed

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