News

2016.02.10 Press Release

The Effects of Music and Exercise on Autonomic Nervous System Activity -Music Attenuated a Decrease in Parasympathetic Nervous System Activity after Exercise-

A research group led by Professor Masachiro Kohzukiand Assistant Professor Yoshiko Ogawa of the Department of Internal Medicine and Rehabilitation Science at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine has reported that sedative and relaxing music attenuated a decrease in parasympathetic nervous system activity after exercise.

Physical exercise increases sympathetic nervous system activity and decreases parasympathetic nervous system activity, resulting in an increase in heart rate (HR), and the increased HR rapidly declines after the cessation of exercise. This rapid HR recovery plays an important role in avoiding excessive cardiac work after exercise.

Music has been shown to be an efficient method of modulating emotions and autonomic nervous system activity, and may modify the autonomic nervous system activity after exercise. However, the effects of music on post-exercise autonomic nervous system activity are poorly understood. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of music on autonomic nervous system activity after exercise using the frequency domain of HRV to test the hypothesis that music attenuates sympathetic nervous activity and/or elicits parasympathetic nervous activity after exercise.

Twenty-six healthy graduate students participated in four sessions in a random order on four separate days: a sedentary session, a music session, a bicycling session, and a bicycling with music session. Participants were asked to listen to their favorite music and to exercise on a cycle ergometer. The group evaluated autonomic nervous system activity before and after each session using frequency analysis of heart rate variability. High frequency power, an index of parasympathetic nervous system activity, was significantly increased in the music session. Heart rate was increased, and high frequency power was decreased, in the bicycling session. There was no significant difference in high frequency power before and after the bicycling with music session, although heart rate was significantly increased. These data suggest that music increased parasympathetic activity and attenuated the exercise-induced decrease in parasympathetic activity. Therefore, music may be an effective approach for improving post-exercise parasympathetic reactivation, resulting in a faster recovery and a reduction in cardiac stress after exercise.

The research result was published in the PLoS ONE on February 3, 2014 (EST). The paper’s title is “Music Attenuated a Decrease in Parasympathetic Nervous System Activity after Exercise”

Contact
(About the research)
Assistant professo Yoshiko Ogawa, Professor Masachiro Kohzuki
Department of Internal Medicine and Rehabilitation Science, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
TEL: +81-22-717-7353
E-mail: yoshikogawa*med.tohoku.ac.jp / kohzuki*med.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)

(Public Relations)
Lecturer Hitoshi Inada
Public Relations Office of Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
TEL: +81-22-717-7891 FAX: +81-22-717-8187
E-mail: hinada*med.tohoku.ac.jp (Replace * with @)