The characteristics and effects of motivational music in exercise settings: The possible influence of gender, age, frequency of attendance, and time of attendance

David-Lee Priest, Costas I. Karageorghis, N. C. Craig Sharp

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AIM: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the characteristics and effects of motivational music in British gymnasia. The secondary purpose was to determine whether the characteristics and effects of motivational music were invariant in relation to gender, age, frequency of gymnasium attendance, and the time of day at which exercise participants attended gymnasia.

METHODS: Participants (n=532) from 29 David Lloyd Leisure exercise facilities across Britain responded to a questionnaire that was designed to assess music preferences during exercise via 2 open-ended questions and 1 scaled-response item.

RESULTS: A content analysis of the questionnaire data yielded 45 analytic properties that were grouped into the following categories: specific music factors, general music factors, music programme factors, delivery factors, televisual factors, personal factors, contextual factors, and psychophysical response factors. The relative incidence of these analytic properties across gender groups (male/female), age groups (16-26 y, 27-34 y, 35-45 y, 46+ y), frequency of attendance groups (low, medium, high), and time of attendance groups (morning, afternoon, evening) was tested by use of chi(2) analyses. Of the personal variables tested, age exerted the greatest influence on musical preference during exercise; older participants expressed a preference for quieter, slower, and generally less overtly stimulative music.

CONCLUSION: Music programmes that are prescribed to accompany exercise should be varied in terms of musical idiom and date of release. Such programmes will account for the preferences of different groups of exercise participants that attend gymnasia at different times of the day. Further, the music chosen should be characterised by a strong rhythmical component.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

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