According to a new research, people with severe respiratory disease can walk further, and are less disabled, if they listen to music as they exercise. Exercise is key to pulmonary rehabilitation in people who develop severe lung disease. The aim is to increase the distance they can walk in a fixed time and this helps them maintain their everyday abilities and independence.
Researchers at Ohio State University now report on the beneficial effect of music when walking for such patients. They studied two groups of twelve patients undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation for eight weeks. One group was given an audiocassette of country and western, pop, Motown and big band music to listen to as they walked, while the other did not listen to music.
Over the eight week period, the music group walked further - 20 miles compared to 12 miles - which, in terms of lung function, is significant. They could walk further in the six minute walk test, and they were also less disabled in their everyday lives, and less depressed. The researchers think that the auditory distraction of the music is somehow helpful to this group of patients and will now attempt to find out just how this aids lung function.