Effects of music on exercise and perceived symptoms in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

J Cardiopulm Rehabil. 1998 May-Jun;18(3):228-32. doi: 10.1097/00008483-199805000-00007.


Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of music on exercise tolerance and perceived symptoms during treadmill walking in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Methods: Nineteen patients with COPD recruited from a pulmonary rehabilitation program participated in treadmill walking sessions on three separate days. The first session consisted of a practice walk. The second and third walking sessions were 6-minute timed tests in which the subjects were asked to walk as fast as possible under two conditions: a control walk and a music walk. Subjective assessments of perceived dyspnea and effort were obtained during the walks by the modified Borg scale.

Results: Distances walked were 331m +/- 19 (SE) for the music walk and 321m +/- 21 (SE) for the control walk (P = .25). Within each condition, ratings of perceived exertion and dyspnea increased from minute 1 to minute 6 (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: There were no statistically significant differences observed between treatment conditions for distance walked, perceived dyspnea or ratings of perceived exertion. It should be noted that 60% of the subjects voluntarily commented that they enjoyed listening to music while they exercised.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / rehabilitation*
  • Middle Aged
  • Music*
  • Pilot Projects