Union College researching effects of music on athletics

In an effort to uncover the effects of music on athletic performance, David Skau, senior international rescue and relief and pre-med major at Union College in Nebraska is conducting a study. According to the school, Skau investigated how pure metronome beats influence athletics.

"This project is heavily based on primary research," said Frankie Rose, assistant professor of biology and Skau's research advisor. "Primary research is an essential tool in learning and it's crucial for Union College students to do more hands-on research and discover experimental outcomes for themselves, versus only reading about it in a book."

Skau launched the project to uncover the specific effects of beats - regardless of musical genre - on athletes. He monitored the heart rate, distance cycled and comfort level of participants who pedaled on a stationary bike while listening to various tempos.

He found that increasing rhythm can boost exercise rate, to an extent.

"Somewhere between 120 and 240 beats per minute seems to be ideal," said Skau.

Overall employment in the scientific research and development services industry is projected to increase by 25 percent over the next several years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

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