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Personalized Playlists Increase Exercise Adherence

Posted by Cody on 07/14/2015


The research was conducted at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, part of the University Health Network in Canada. Findings were published May 20 in the journal Sports Medicine — Open.

“Cardiac rehab has been proven to improve long-term survival for someone who’s had a heart event by 20%,” David Alter, MD, PhD, a senior scientist at Toronto Rehab and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, with locations throughout Ontario, said in a news release. “Our challenge is there is a high drop-out rate for these programs and suboptimal adherence to the self-management of physical activity.”

In the study, each participant’s personalized playlist was the music genre the person enjoyed with tempos matched to a predetermined walking or running pace.

“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,” Alter said in the release. He also is the research chairman in cardiovascular prevention and metabolic rehabilitation at Toronto Rehab.

The study included 34 cardiac rehabilitation patients from Toronto Rehab: one-third of the patients didn’t have any music during their cardiac rehab exercises; and the other two-thirds had audio devices with personalized music playlists during their cardiac rehab exercises. Among those who had music, half received tempo-pace synchronized audio devices, which means their music playlists were modified by embedding extra rhythmic beats — called rhythmic auditory stimulation — to further enhance tempo-pace synchronization. Patients who received RAS were unaware their music playlists had been modified.

The patients who used the personalized music playlists with tempo-pace synchronization did an average of 105.4 minutes more exercise than patients who did not use music, researchers found. The patients who received RAS had the greatest increase in their total physical activity, achieving 261.1 minutes or more of weekly physical activity than their music or nonmusic playlist counterparts, which corresponds to a 70% increase in weekly exercise.

“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 said in the release.

Researchers plan to design future clinical trials to further test the clinical application of tempo-pace synchronized music playlists with and without RAS in cardiac rehab patients.

This study was supported partly by a grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Full study: http://www.sportsmedicine-open.com/content/2/1/7


Bonnie Benton. 6/5/15. Study: Music strategy shows 70% increase in exercise adherence. Today In PT. Retrieved June 11, 2015. http://blog.todayinpt.com/music-increase-exercise-adherence/