Music and Psychology: A Practitioner’s guide

Presentation slides: Psychology y2 presentation

Screencast and reference list:

This short screencast acts as a guide for practitioners to prescribe and integrate music into an athlete’s regime, with the aim of developing their athlete’s performance. Covered inside is:

Flow, the state of optimal physiological and psychological harmony, which motivates peak performance in athletes. This can be used in training and performance to enhance all performance, and serves to decrease perception of exertion, which is key in rehabilitation and health-based clientele.

The use of music as physiological and psychological aids

Considerations for the prescription of music


The benefits of music are applicable to athletes in most cases, including rehabilitation and pre-training. Athletes can use music to dull fatigue, pain and perceived exertion, making exercise more enjoyable and less painful. Not only can this influence participation rates in exercise referral schemes and health clientele, it also reduces the effects of burnout and frustration associated with rehabilitation of injured athletes.

In addition, there is strong correlations between heart rate and music tempo (BPM) that imply rhythm response can dictate physiological state and can be used to influence cardiovascular workload by deliberately increasing or decreasing HR through use of music. This correlation also allows for the use of music as a warm-up aid in addition to pre-performance motivation, which further validates its use in professional athletes. More research also links music to an increase in running economy via the stimulation of task-relevant thoughts, which decrease oxygen consumption at a given intensity. These factors combine to offer an increased time to fatigue, and higher aerobic capacity when running with music. This trend would likely continue in anaerobic and sprint events but requires further research to be completed.

Psychological benefits are numerous, especially given the impact mentality has on performance in sport. Music is shown to increase time to exhaustion, decrease RPE and acts as an effective mood enhancer for athletes prior to and during performance, which allows for an athlete to enter flow states, ensuring optimal performance in an event. Furthermore, music can act as an effective countermeasure against performance anxiety by increasing intrinsic motivation prior to performance, if used in the correct context. The contrast is also true, with calming music increasing performance in shooting, archery and curling, which comes from an increased motivation via flow, and the decreased heart rate associated with slower tempo music.

“Flow” describes the state of harmony between psychology, physiology and motivation, optimising performance through these factors. Flow increases task awareness while decreasing environmental distractors, enhancing intrinsic motivation and performance output in most physiological measures, including peak power development and aerobic endurance (Pates, J., Karageorghis, C. I., Fryer, R., & Maynard, I. 2003). Use of music to induce flow is effective in recreational and elite athletes, highlighting music’s efficacy as an ergogenic aid for all athletes, but requires precise selection and usage to attain maximal benefits, as with any ergogenic aid. Overall, practitioners should consider the liberal use of music as an ergogenic aid, but carefully tailor the use of music to the expected and desired outcomes prior to performance.


(See presentation final slide for full reference list)

Pates, J., Karageorghis, C. I., Fryer, R., & Maynard, I. (2003). Effects of asynchronous music on flow states and shooting performance among netball players. Psychology of Sport and Exercise4(4), 415-427.


The blog of Joel Smith, an athletics coach and magazine columnist. The Website JustFlyPerformance has guides to performance, coaching and everything else you can expect for a good sports blog!


With excellent formatting and presentation, this website has some great potential. If only this one was so lucky! Find his masterpiece here: JustFlyPerformance

Fitness Republic

Fitness Republic is a website that resembles a toolbox. Endless resources on fitness, nutrition, community events and more. If you could think to ask about it, it’s probably there. Plus they recently did a very similar article to mine! Great minds think alike!


Find their website here: FitnessRepublic

They also have an app, which helps with nutrition and community connections! Find it from their website, and you’ll feel healthier already!

Japanese tourism- Olympic preparations!

For handy guides to Japan, Chris Broad’s website and Youtube channel ABroadinJapan is a beacon of cross-continental internationalism, offering guides to simple things like bars and simple etiquette, to tours of the prefectures of Japan for both food and fun!


Plus he has guides to Airport and public transport, activities for your stay in Japan, ideas for your budgeting issues (We all have them!) and how you can make the most of the magic of Japan! #JPNOlympics is on it’s way!


Check out the Website here: AbroadinJapan

Or his Youtube channel here: AbroadinJapan Youtube

Runner’s world

The blog authored by Alex Hutchinson, a famed and respected columnist for many magazines, winning national awards. He has also recently published a book: Endure; the mind, body, and curiously elastic limits of human performance! Definitely worth a read! Having reviewed it myself, i can definitely recommend it!


Runner’s world focuses on nutrition and endurance running, offering resources to develop runners in any way possible, from food to shoes, and brains to the training field.


Find it here; Runner’s world

Sport and fitness science

A blog by Dr. Marco Cardinale, PhD. This blog offers many different subject matters, and many fields of research. Furthermore, it is from a reliable source, with proven qualifications!


For those still sceptical, the editor is the previous head of sport science research for GB at Beijing and London’s Olympics! What reason do you have to not go?


Find here: Sport and Fitness science





The home of sport science

A blog that mainly provides news and controversies, The home of sport science is… well, the name gives it away.


This website is a beacon for the sport community, as a hub for research, management and marketing. The site personally interests me with it’s reports on cycling, as well as in-depth info on doping and the Olympics!


Find them here: The home of sport science!

Academic Resources

This is a list of resources that will help to develop academic growth and provide resources for developing your essays!


1: Mendeley: This website along with its Microsoft word plugin allows for automatic reference generation, as well as instant bibliography production, based on the references placed in your essay! Super easy, Super convenient!


2: Google books: Though you may not want to buy a whole book, you can view a preview, and find resources from books that have been published. Take advantage if you can, why not?


3: IJER: The international journal of educational research publishes papers for international students, developing education and teaching techniques, to be use in the classroom, no matter the subject.


4: AARE: The Australian Association of Research in Education are a national body for education, and provides contact between international researchers and Australian educators, and any educational professional.


5: Sheffield Dyslexia aid: Sheffield university has created a multi-sensory guide for dyslexic students on reading and writing. An excellent project, and provides services for education for everybody!


6: Education corner: Again useful for education, Education corner provides resources for students between early childhood to key stage 12, covering a huge demographic. It provides resources on learning, time management and study skills. Exactly what you came to this page for!


7: Tofugu’s hiragana guide: If you want to learn a new language, or you enjoy learning with visual and mnemonic aids, this is perfect! As an added bonus, you learn a new language with a new learning technique!


8: A website full of games, worksheets and lesson plans, the website provide educational opportunities and study guides for reception to year 6, as well as international resources. It acts as a hub for teachers and students, ensuring everyone learns something new!


9: TES: Teaching resources made for teachers, shared by teachers. Not only is there free resources, there is also developed revision tasks for specific exams, and can be used to bolster knowledge of students on their courses.


10: BBC learning: The official site of the BBC, it provides activities for all subjects, and can offer advice on study for all ages. Hop over and explore, you will find something for you in no time!


Please immerse yourself in resources for learning, and enjoy your time on these websites! Good luck learning all these things, it’ll take a lifetime!

Blog spotlight: April 2018

This month’s focus is a health, fitness and physiology blog. Sounds perfect, right? is a website made to provide learning resources to professionals and students, providing reviews, guides and articles on health related issues. He also has tips on essay writing, a workshop on lab reports, and links to health qualification website. Take advantage as much as you can!


Find his twitter here:  @BenJaneFitness

Can Children outrun obesity? A critical analysis of diet, malnutrition and healthy lifestyles

Despite the deadly connotations of poor diet, the balance between diet and exercise is hotly debated. Some research suggests that energy expenditure (EE) is the main factor of weight management (Fock & Khoo, 2013), and a child’s poor diet can be offset by an active lifestyle. I find it wise to support this hypothesis, to some extent. Note that the article references only weight, not disease, nor physical health. In no way can children outrun the consequences of poor nutrition, but they may be able to outrun excess weight and obesity (Kuźbicka & Rachoń, 2013). Despite this, there is still the risk of exercise addiction and anorexia to be mindful of, even if cases are rare when contrasted by obesity.

When examining the youthful demographic’s EE, children are more susceptible to sedentary behaviour, especially when in contact with technology/media (Pate et al., 2011). Children are disadvantaged by recent increases in sedentary communion (Loprinzi & Cardinal, 2011), while also being hampered by public transport increases (Rissel et al., 2012), decreasing the viability of cycling/walking to schools thereby reducing valuable exercise time. This skews the EE of children negatively, increasing chances of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, forcing more resources to be expended in decreasing the prevalence of obesity, while attempting to control treatment with current methods.

Finally, the development of programs designed to decrease the public overweight crisis have been moderately successful (Hung et al., 2015), but continued pre-emptive action is vital in a continual race against the growing obesity crisis (Wang, 2001). The WHO classifies obesity as a global, multinational epidemic. Worse, the WHO claims 40 million children under the age of 5 are overweight and likely to become obese in future years.


So that’s it right? Children with poor diets are doomed?


Recently, poor diet has been synonymous with obesity (Poti et al., 2014), but other side-effects of a “bad diet” can be similarly catastrophic, with malnutrition, dehydration and vitamin deficiencies as consequences of poor management of vitamins and macro-nutrients (Find here the NHS Eat-well plate, a simple guide to nutrition).

Exercise only worsens dehydration and it cannot replace macro-nutrient intake. A study by (Galler et al., 2010 pg. 798), suggests malnutrition can indicate depression between 11-17, and concludes that malnutrition independently contributes to depressive symptoms in youths. Furthermore, both malnutrition and diabetes have been shown to impair cognitive functions and signifies adolescent behavioural issues (Galler et al., 2012). Dehydration has a more telegraphed link to cognitive impairment and death, while vitamin deficiency has varied effects. Recent WHO  (World Health Organisation) evaluation classes Vitamin D deficiency as a global pandemic (Holick & Chen, 2008), as most of the populace believes sunlight is the sole source. This is not the case, as neither Ultraviolet radiation-B (UVB) rays or dietary supplements alone can produce enough vitamin D for a healthy lifestyle. (Holick & Chen, 2008).




Fock, K.M. & Khoo, J. (2013) Diet and exercise in management of obesity and overweight. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Vol. 28: 59–63. [Online] Available from:

Galler, J.R., Bryce, C.P., Waber, D., Hock, R.S., Exner, N., Eaglesfield, D., Fitzmaurice, G. & Harrison, R. (2010) Early childhood malnutrition predicts depressive symptoms at ages 11-17. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines. Vol. 51, No. 7: 789–798.

Galler, J.R., Bryce, C.P., Waber, D.P., Hock, R.S., Harrison, R., Eaglesfield, G.D. & Fitzmaurice, G. (2012) Infant malnutrition predicts conduct problems in adolescents. Nutritional Neuroscience. Vol. 15, No. 4: 186–192. [Online] Available from:

Holick, M.F. & Chen, T.C. (2008) Vitamin D deficiency: A worldwide problem with health consequences. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 87, No. 4.

Hung, L.S., Tidwell, D.K., Hall, M.E., Lee, M.L., Briley, C.A. & Hunt, B.P. (2015) A meta-analysis of school-based obesity prevention programs demonstrates limited efficacy of decreasing childhood obesity. Nutrition Research. Vol. 35, No. 3: 229–240.

Kuźbicka, K. & Rachoń, D. (2013) Bad eating habits as the main cause of obesity among children. Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. Vol. 19, No. 3: 106–10. [Online] Available from:

Loprinzi, P.D. & Cardinal, B.J. (2011) Measuring Children’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviors. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness. Vol. 9, No. 1: 15–23. [Online] Available from:

NHS (2016) The Eatwell Guide. [Online] Available from: [accessed 27 March 2018].

Pate, R.R., Mitchell, J.A., Byun, W. & Dowda, M. (2011) Sedentary behaviour in youth. British Journal of Sports Medicine. Vol. 45, No. 11: 906–913.

Poti, J.M., Duffey, K.J. & Popkin, B.M. (2014) The association of fast food consumption with poor dietary outcomes and obesity among children: Is it the fast food or the remainder of the diet? American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 99, No. 1: 162–171.

Rissel, C., Curac, N., Greenaway, M. & Bauman, A. (2012) Physical activity associated with public transport use-a review and modelling of potential benefits. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Vol. 9, No. 7: 2454–2478.

Wang, Y.F. (2001) Cross-national comparison of childhood obesity: the epidemic and the relationship between obesity and socioeconomic status. Int J Epidemiol. Vol. 30, No. 5: 1129–1136.