Dance music beats are a workout winner

A study into the effect different music styles have on exercise has found that dance music could make your workout more effective.

Dance music could make your workout more efficient

Pic: Getty

Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium put 18 adults, aged between 22 and 51, through their walking paces, using 52 different types of music as an accompaniment.

Each of the musical samples featured the same tempo and four-beat rhythm, but the style affected the intensity of the workout - and more 'activating' styles such as techno or pop were found to increase effort levels by up to 10 per cent.

The study revealed that a pumping dance tune caused participants to take substantially longer, stronger and more energetic strides, even though the number of beats per minute for each musical style remained the same.

The laid back and relaxing sounds of reggae or jazz, on the other hand, caused the volunteers to shorten their stride and travel a shorter distance.

Lead researcher Dr Marc Leman, whose study was published in the journal Public LIbrary of Science ONE, said: "Music somehow captures what we do and it enhances our activity. The research suggests that the right kind of music will help you exercise more effectively."

So the next time you head down to the gym, pick your playlist carefully - it could make all the difference.

What kind of music do you use for workout inspiration? Leave your comments below...