Publication Date


Degree Type

Master of Science in Physical Education


Music is a part of everyday life and has an effect on people in many different ways. Music can be as individual as the person who listens to it, and thus there are many genres for many different tastes. Music has accompanied exercise and sport for quite some time. It has been shown to have varying psychophysical effects including decreasing ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) at a given sub-max intensity, enhancing arousal control, and affective states at high and medium intensities. Also the improved synchronization of sub-maximal exercise with music may result in increased work output. The proposed ability of music to increase aerobic endurance and improve motor performance has received considerable attention in the literature over the last decades. However, few studies have examined the potential influence of listening to most vs. least preferred music type on exercise RPE, heart rate response (HR) and oxygen consumption (VO2). The current study compared HR, VO2 and RPE at preferred intensities (self-selected treadmill velocities) between treadmill exercise sessions in which subjects listened to music they previously identified as "most" and "least preferred." Subjects completed three testing sessions including a maxima! oxygen consumption (VO2 max) trial using a Vacu-med metabolic system followed by two counterbalanced exercise trials listening to music. Subjects chose "least preferred" (LP) and "most, preferred" (MP) music from a predetermined list. During MP and LP, subjects self-selected velocity at a constant 5% treadmill grade and exercised long enough to achieve steady stale I-1R. Once MR achieved steady slate, subjects continued for three to five minutes with RPE estimations being recorded at the end of every minute. Treadmill velocity was recorded, the trial was stopped and subjects responded to a 31-item Allentional Focus Questionnaire (AFQ) to assess association, disassociation and distress. Subjects then resumed treadmill exercise at the selected velocity while VO2 was recorded for 3-5 minutes (adequate to achieve steady state). Values for trials were compared using repeated measures Analyses of Variance (ANOVA). Results indicated no significant differences for V02, FIR, RPE or treadmill velocity, between LP and MP. However, FIR did approach significance (p=0.08) with greater values for Mi'. Tempo of music is thought to dominate preferred intensity selection due to elevated rhythmic beat. Tempo for this study was held at 120-150 beats per minute. Similar tempos between trials may have contributed to the lack of significant differences. Because subjects were "moderately fit" (V02: 48 + 6.6 ml/kg/min) recreational runners they may have self-selected a velocity at which they were accustomed to running or jogging during daily exercise independent of music. While V02, treadmill velocity, FIR and RPE did not reach statistical significance between trials, the trends in data suggest "most preferred" music may have an impact on exercise response. Mean FIR was 5 beat/min lower during LP, however, RPE was slightly lower. This finding is in contrast to the expectation that a higher MR would elicit a greater RPE. From the AFQ, no significant differences were noted between trials for association, dissociation or distress. However, distress approached significance (p= 0.07) with greater values reported during LP. In conclusion, even though no statistically significant differences were found, trends indicate there are potential impacts of music type on exercise responses.


Physiology | Psychology