March 1, 2016

Many runners and gym-goers may have noticed that listening to music sometimes helps with running the last 400 meters or completing those final 20 reps. And now, researchers in Germany have found that controlling music while doing strenuous activity actually reduces the perceived effort.

The Seven Dwarfs told us to “whistle while you work,” and prisoners chipping away at stones in quarries used to sing songs in rhythm with the striking of their tools. But why?

Though we may have suspected that music merely distracts us while doing physical work, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany, along with other colleagues, have found that there is another effect of this music, one that lies in the muscles…

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