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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Health Note/Music & Exercise

Air Date: Week of

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Living on Earth’s Jessica Penney reports on how music may help people exercise.


CURWOOD: Just ahead, what it means to be a pagan in the 21st century. First, this Environmental Health Note from Jessica Penney.


PENNEY: A new study says music may help people go the extra mile while exercising.
It's known that exercise helps people with lung diseases, like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but working out can be tiring for people with severe respiratory problems. So researchers at Ohio State University tested a way to make exercising easier.

The study involves 24 people split in two groups. Both groups exercised by walking for at least 20 minutes, two to five times a week. Researchers gave one group cassette players and tapes with a mix of classical, country western, Motown, and big band music to listen to while walking. All participants wore electronic pedometers that measured distance. After eight weeks, the people with the music increased the average distance they walked by 43 percent, while members of the other group walked 15 percent less. Overall, the average music listener walked 24 percent further than the average non-listener.

The participants with the cassettes also reported that their breathing improved during normal daily activities. The researchers believe that music may be distracting patients from the discomfort of their illness. That's this week's Health Note. I'm Jessica Penney.

CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.

[MUSIC: Davy Graham, “Angie” AGELESS GUITAR SOLOS/ULLI (Waters Edge, 1996)]



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