The effects of music tempo and loudness level on treadmill exercise

Ergonomics. 2006 Dec 15;49(15):1597-610. doi: 10.1080/00140130600899104.


This study examined the effects of loudness and tempo of background music on exercise performance. A total of 30 volunteers performed five 10-min exercise sessions on a treadmill. The music listened to whilst exercising was either fast/loud, fast/quiet, slow/loud, slow/quiet or absent. Measures of running speed, heart rate, perceived exertion and affect were taken. Significant effects and interactions were found for running speed and heart rate across the different music tempo and loudness levels. More positive affect was observed during the music condition in comparison to the 'no music' condition. No significant differences for perceived exertion were found across conditions. These results confirm that fast, loud music might be played to enhance optimal exercising, and show how loudness and tempo interact.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Loudness Perception / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music / psychology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Running / physiology*
  • Running / psychology*
  • Time