Listening to music during sprint interval exercise: The impact on exercise attitudes and intentions

J Sports Sci. 2017 Oct;35(19):1940-1946. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1242764. Epub 2016 Oct 15.


This study investigated the impact of listening to music during exercise on perceived enjoyment, attitudes and intentions towards sprint interval training (SIT). Twenty men (24.8 ± 4.5 years) and women (20.1 ± 2.6 years) unfamiliar with SIT exercise completed two acute sessions of SIT, one with and one without music. Perceived enjoyment, attitudes and intentions towards SIT were measured post-exercise for each condition. Attitudes and intentions to engage in SIT were also measured at baseline and follow-up. Post-exercise attitudes mediated the effects of enjoyment on intentions in the music condition (95% confidence interval [CI]: [0.01, 0.07], κ2 = 0.36) and in the no music condition (95% CI: [0.01, 0.08], κ2 = 0.37). Attitudes towards SIT were significantly more positive following the music than no music condition (P = 0.004), while intentions towards SIT were not (P = 0.29). Further, attitudes and intentions towards SIT did not change from baseline to follow-up (Ps > 0.05). These findings revealed that participants had relatively positive attitudes and intentions towards SIT, which did not become more negative despite experiencing intense SIT protocols. This study highlights the importance of acute affective responses to SIT exercise for influencing one's attitudes and intentions towards participating in SIT exercise. Such factors could ultimately play a key role in determining whether an individual engages in SIT exercise in the long term.

Keywords: Sprint interval training; attitudes; enjoyment; intentions; music.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Male
  • Music*
  • Pleasure
  • Running
  • Young Adult