A new study has revealed that factors behind the development of cardiovascular diseases due to the stress of driving can now be attenuated. The study said that driving in heavy traffic could have an adverse impact on the functioning of a human heart. It said that listening to instrumental music while driving can deal with several heart-related ailments. The study was conducted by researchers at the Oxford Brookes University, UK, the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the University of Parma, Italy. The study was published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal.
The results of the study noted that cardiac stress in the male participants reduced when they listen to music while driving during peak hours. Participants were assessed in random order on two different occasions in two days. Volunteers were asked to drive a vehicle they didn’t own. They drove for nearly two kms during the rush hour on one day without listening to music. The next day, volunteers drove the same route at the same time, but they listened to instrumental music. The drivers used the CD players or music systems fitted in their respective cars to play instrumental music. Researchers used a heart rate monitor which was attached to the volunteers’ chest to study the level of cardiac stress. It was found that heart rate variability decreased in drivers who drove without listening to music and increased in the drivers who listened to music. The HRV is typically lower when the heart beats faster, causing stress. The HRV is high when the heart beats slowly. Researchers concluded that listening to music while driving during busiest hours could be a preventive measure to protect human’s hearts from becoming vulnerable to diseases caused by stress.
The researchers also measured the effects of listening to music on cardiac stress in females. Researchers included women participants in the study who drive once or twice in seven to ten days. All females were between the age of 18 and 23. All subjects in these women were healthy.