Study finds music as important for working out as shoes

January 5, 2017

Music can help people stay motivated and committed to reaching their fitness goals, according to new research released today by SOCAN.

More than 1,500 Canadians were surveyed by Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, on behalf of SOCAN, for the Music Drives Fitness study, which draws out the positive impact music has on fitness inspiration and overall well-being.

More than three-quarters (78%) of those surveyed say that having music is just as important as having workout clothes and proper equipment at the gym, and a strong majority (68%) of them say they consider music just as essential as having comfortable workout shoes. What’s more, half of Millennials say that at the gym they need music as much as they need water.

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Jennifer Brown, Vice President of SOCAN’s Licensing department, says the results from the Music Drive Fitness study support the organization’s efforts to underscore the value of music in business and with the general public.

“We’re pleased with the findings, as they indicate music is far more important than we thought when it comes to physical health, well-being, and even consumer experiences. It’s essential to people who exercise, and they want to hear more of it.

“Music enriches so many different types of experiences, and with so many people saying that music is essential to their exercise routine, gym owners would be wise to use music strategically. A strong playlist and a SOCAN license to play music would benefit their members and keep them coming back.”

For David "Patch" Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness Centres Inc., the largest health club company in Canada, music plays an important role in keeping exercise classes, and the overall vibe, high-energy and motivational in the organization's 350-plus locations across the country.

“During our more than 37 years in business, GoodLife Fitness associates have seen first-hand the important role that music plays in motivating our members to achieve their health and fitness goals,” says Patchell-Evans. “GoodLife is proud to work with SOCAN and other organizations that support the music industry because, as this new research reaffirms, music – whether it’s being played in a choreographed class or streaming from a person’s smartphone – has the ability to motivate people to get the most out of their workouts.”

The research also found that music can be just what the doctor ordered to keep moods high while reducing stress. Those surveyed said they turn to music for their mental health as well as their physical fitness.

Between 40 and 60 percent of those 18 to 65 say they listen to music when they’re feeling sad and want to feel better. For stress relief, 44 percent will listen to music and nearly half (49%) turn to music first – even before their friends – when they want to lift their spirits.

As people kick off the New Year, the goals of “getting in shape” and “hitting the gym” are likely to top their resolutions list, and music can help make a huge difference in keeping them motivated and steadfast. Gym owners and other businesses across Canada should take notice and make sure that they’re Licensed to Play music.

For a comprehensive summary of the Music Drives Fitness study, please see the Music Drives Fitness report.