Washington: A study lead by the University of Edinburgh researchers suggests that listening to music while running can be helpful in combating mental fatigue and might prove as a key to improving people’s performance too. The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise.
The performance of runners, who listened to a self-selected playlist after completing a demanding thinking task, was at the same level as when they were not mentally fatigued, the research found.
The study is the first to investigate the effect of listening to music playlists on endurance running capacity and performance when mentally fatigued.
Researchers used two tests to study how listening to music affected the running performance of 18 fitness enthusiasts.
Researchers say the positive effects of music could potentially be due to altered perception of effort when listening to tunes.
Dr Shaun Phillips, of the University of Edinburgh’s Moray House School of Education and Sport, said: “Mental fatigue is a common occurrence for many of us, and can negatively impact many of our day-to-day activities, including exercise. Finding safe and effective ways to reduce this negative impact is, therefore, useful.”
“The findings indicate that listening to self-selected motivational music may be a useful strategy to help active people improve their endurance running capacity and performance when mentally fatigued. This positive impact of self-selected music could help people to better maintain the quality and beneficial impact of their exercise sessions,” Phillips added.
Researchers said there are opportunities for further study into how listening to music while running affects larger and different groups of people, in different settings, and using different exercise challenges. Work in these areas is ongoing at the University of Edinburgh.