Study: Listening to music while driving reduces cardiac stress

Study: Listening to music while driving reduces cardiac stress

A new study by Brazilian researchers suggests that cardiac overload due to the stress of driving in heavy traffic can be attenuated by listening to instrumental music. The results of the study were published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in Brazil, Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom and the University of Parma in Italy also took part in this study.

"We found that cardiac stress in the participants in our experiment was reduced by listening to music while they were driving," Vitor Engracia Valenti, a professor at UNESP Marilia and a principal investigator of the project, told. The researchers analyzed the effects of music on cardiac stress in five women between the ages of 18 and 23. All subjects were healthy, considered nonhabitual drivers (they drove once or twice a week), and had obtained a license 1-7 years previously.

"We opted to assess women who were not habitual drivers because people who drive frequently and have had a license for a long time are better adapted to stressful situations in traffic," Valenti explained.

The volunteers were assessed on two days, in different situations and in random order. On one day, they drove for 20 minutes at rush hour (5:30-6:30 pm) along a 3 km route in a busy district of Marilia, a medium-sized city in the northwest of Sao Paulo State, without listening to music.

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