H. Robinson, R. Wilson, J. Descoteaux, and W. M. Silvers

Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

Music has been found to have many positive effects on an individual during exercise. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of calm and rock music on sit and reach (SR) performance. METHODS: Twenty-four, college-aged males (n=5) and females (n=19) completed sit-and-reach tests in three conditions (calm music, rock music, and no music). For each test session, participants were introduced to a calm music, rock music, or no music condition. The music for the calm and rock conditions was pre-selected by the researchers and standardized in length and volume for all participants. Participants were first seated in a chair for 5-min to establish resting conditions. Thereafter, participants cycled on a Monark 828e ergometer for 10-min at a self-selected comfortable pace to warm-up for the SR test. After each participant had completed the warm up, they immediately performed a “best of three” series of SR tests to measure posterior chain flexibility. For the calm and rock music conditions, the participants listened to the assigned music during the 5-min sitting and10-min warm up periods, and during the SR test. RESULTS: A repeated-measures ANOVA (a set at p ≤ 0.05) indicated no statistical differences for SR performance between the three conditions (p = 0.76). CONCLUSIONS: It is certainly possible that this specific research finding was due to a Type II error because of a high observed beta (b = 0.92). However, the descriptive data appeared very similar across conditions, which suggests that the statistical result is correct. The primary explanations for the observed results were: 1) that the participants were not exposed to the music for a long enough period of time to elicit a change in SR performance, or 2) the chosen music conditions simply do not affect SR performance. Future research is needed to investigate the use of a metronome to pace SR trials, variable durations, genres, or volumes of music, and different sample populations.

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