If any health professional were asked, they would all state that heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute and blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. Both of these measurements are important indications of heart health and taking one measurement cannot suffice for the other. WebMD, an online medical website, says that a normal heart rate is around 60 beats per minute and a normal blood pressure reading is 120/80. (WebMd) There are many health risks involved with hypertension, where the pressure rises because the heart must work harder to pump blood through restricted arteries. Hypertension occurs when the systolic pressure surpasses 140 and diastolic surpasses 99. Doctors from WebMD state that hypertension can lead to medical issues such as hardening of the arteries, heart failure, and even death. This can be caused by smoking, an unhealthy diet, obesity, age, or family history. Heart rate is checked to make sure your heart is pumping enough blood through your body, to check how fast your heart is beating, and to check for medical issues like rapid heartbeat, skipped beats, dizziness, or blood flow after an injury. According to the Health Resource Healthy Living magazine, many things such as exercise, diet, medicine use, and emotions can affect one’s blood pressure and heart rate. (Levchuck, McNeill, Nagel, Newton, Chenes, and Drohan pp. 85-109) Since there are so many things that can affect your blood pressure this experiment was created to test the effect of different genres of music on a person’s heart rate and blood pressure. According to the National Post, a Canadian newspaper, music can have great effects on heart rate and blood pressure. It states that a person’s heart beat will quicken or slow down to match the beat of the music. (“National Post” AL6) Therefore, the faster the beat of the music is the faster the person’s heart will beat, increasing blood pressure and heart rate. The LIFE 103 class decided to test this, and hypothesized that the metal music played would increase students’ heart rates and blood pressures because the mood that the music would induce while calm music would lower it based on the mood it induced. The results of this experiment would teach students about the health of their heart, and if certain music can help keep their heart healthy in stressful situations.
Materials and Methods:
In this experiment a stethoscope and a sphygmomanometer were used to obtain and record the basal heart rate and blood pressures of the students. Each was taken three times before the experiment began. Then, the students were split into two groups who would listen to the music selections, from and iPod over speakers, in different orders to assure that not being able to mentally prepare would affect the results. The first group of students was tested first and listened to a loud, harsh song at a high volume. Thirty seconds into the song the students’ heart rates and blood pressures were recorded. They were recorded again one minute and 30 seconds into the song, and then for a final time 30 seconds after the song had finished. Then a more relaxing song was played over the speakers. The students’ heart rate and blood pressures were recorded again after 30 seconds, one minute and 30 seconds, and then 30 seconds after the song finished. The second group of students repeated the experiment but first listened to the calm, quiet song and then the loud, harsh song. The results were then recorded in a spreadsheet.
Average Basal Systolic
Average Basal Diastolic
Average Basal Systolic
Average Basal Diastolic
(graphs on following pages)
After the experiment was conducted, it was noted that with the first group of students that their basal heart rate was higher than their recovery rate, their basal systolic pressure was lower than their recovery pressure, and their basal diastolic pressure was around the same as the recovery pressure. The results for the second group of students were that their basal heart rate was lower than their recovery rate, their basal systolic pressure was lower than their recovery pressure, and their basal diastolic pressure was lower than their recovery pressure. Within the two groups, the significance in the changes of rate and pressure were determined using the T Test. The pulse rate was determined not significant; the T Test resulted in 0.91. The systolic pressure was determined not significant; the T Test resulted in 0.33. The diastolic pressure was determined not significant; the T Test resulted in 0.80.
The purpose of this experiment was to see if music had an effect on a person’s heart rate. It was hypothesized that different types of music would affect the pulse rate and blood pressure differently. It was predicted that slower, calmer, softer music would result in a lower heart rate and blood pressure while faster, harsher, louder music would result in a higher heart rate and blood pressure. According to the data shown on the spreadsheet, the two types of music used to test the effects of blood pressure and heart rate were insignificant and did not support the hypothesis. The data sheet shows that there was little change to the measurements before and after listening to the types of music. However, with group one, the changes are lower because they first listened to the harsher music then the calmer music. With group two, they began with calmer music and ended with harsher music, creating a greater difference. This difference is believed to be caused by the type of music played last for the groups. The first group ended in a calmer manner where as the second group ended in a louder, more uneasy manner. Possible experimental errors that may have prevented the support of the hypothesis could have been switching the order of the music played between groups. If the two groups end with different music genres or types they are more likely to have recovery results that are much different from each other. Another error could have been not creating enough of a controlled experiment before adding in the dependent variables. All people in this experiment are different and are used to different types of music. For this reason the results could be faulty because some may have found a more calming mood with familiar music and a more unsettled mood with unfamiliar music instead of the types of music played. For example, if a student is used to hearing loud, fast, and harsher music they may find it more comforting lowering their rate and pressure while unfamiliar music such as calm and quiet music may increase it due to it being unfamiliar. These results conflict with the study done by the National Post because their study shows that the heart beats in synch with the type of music played. Calmer music would have decreased rate and pressure while harsher music would have increased them. (“National Post” AL6)
Overall, the experiment testing if music has an effect on a person’s heart rate and blood pressure is not seen as a supportive experiment due to the results not supporting the hypothesis, prediction, and other similar studies.
al’Absi, Mustafa, Arnett, Donna K, Devereux, Richard B, Lewis, Cora E, Kitzman, Dalane W, Rao, Hopkins, Paul, and Markovitz, Jerome.”Blood Pressure Responses to Acute Stress and Left Ventricular Mass.” Science Direct. 89.5 (2002): 536-540. Print.
“Health Rhythms Mimic Music Dynamics, Study Shows.” National Post 29 June, 2009, National: AL6. Print.
Levchuck, Caroline M., Allison McNeill, Rob Nagel, David Newton, Betz Des Chenes, and Michele Drohan. “Physical Fitness.” Health Resources Healthy Living 2001: pp. 85-109. Print.
WebMd.com. Blood Pressure. Feb. 3, 2010.
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