two studies of fit people in edinburgh find that listening to motivational music during physical speed & endurance tests counteracts the draining effects of mental fatigue. whistle while you work out!  

original article: Lam et al., 2021 (Journal of Human Sport and Exercise), reported in: The Daily Mail by Johnathan Chadwick on 22nd June 2021

this story was in episode 13 #exercise #music #fatigue #motivation

the error bar says

the Daily Mail invokes 'The Eye of the Tiger' song from Rocky, the movie, to tell us that motivational music helps to overcome mental fatigue when exercising

in two experiments, each with nine fit young people, the researchers first found that performing a reaction time task for 30 minutes makes people feel tired

next, they tested how long they could keep running at a certain speed & how quickly they could run five kilometres while measuring mental fatigue every minute. mental fatigue makes you worse on both of these endurance tests

& this was all done both before & after the mental fatigue & both with & without the volunteers listening to their own choice of motivational music

the researchers from Edinburgh found that listening to motivational music counter-acts the effects of mental fatigue

does motivational music fight fatigue?


the question is a relatively simple one, so the authors probably did not need to present 20 graphs to answer it, but each graph is really good - all the individual data are shown & all the error bars are in place. on that basis alone, it passes

if i must quibble, the authors make a big point about how they are not doing a particular kind of statistical test - that's a null hypothesis test for error bar nerds - but then they present exactly the kind of data & error bars that allow you to do those exact same statistical tests. for the nerds listening: a 95% confidence interval is the area over which the p-value for a one-sided [ed: one-SAMPLE] t-test is bigger than .05. p-values & confidence intervals are based on the same information. as nerdy quibbles go, it's not a fatal one

the main flaw seems to be that there's some cherry-picking of results: why are only 2 of the 6 emotional rating scales presented? & why do they perform so many statistical tests without any corrections?


music fights fatigue


The Daily Mail: fact - scientific story reported well