University of Hertfordshire

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Bases expert statement on the use of music for movement among people with Parkinson's

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-7
Number of pages2
JournalThe Sport and Exercise Scientist
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2020


Music is an artistic auditory stimulus that unfolds over time. It can prime specific actions and prompt engagement in physical activity as well as heighten motivation during motor tasks (Karageorghis, 2020). Contrastingly, it can be used to downregulate arousal to facilitate the transition from an active to a sedentary state or to ameliorate anxiety. In therapeutic applications, musical features such as rhythm, melody and harmony have been shown to elicit psychological and physiological changes (Thaut & Hoemberg, 2014). Parkinson’s is a degenerative neurological condition in which the loss of dopamine neurons results in impaired initiation and control of movement, with common symptoms including tremor, postural instability and gait disturbance. There are also non-motor effects that include apathy, anxiety and depression. Medication does not alleviate all manifestations of the condition and there is presently no known cure (Obeso et al., 2017). It is notable that people with Parkinson’s are estimated to be 30% less active than agematched peers (Ramaswamy et al., 2018). Nonetheless, evidence is emerging that a range of exercise-based and social activities that involve musical engagement can serve to address the common symptoms and enhance quality of life (Thaut & Hoemberg, 2014). This statement brings together an international interdisciplinary team to outline what is known about music-related applications for people with Parkinson’s, and to provide recommendations for exercise and health practitioners.


First published in The Sport and Exercise Scientist, February 2020, Issue 63. Published by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences –

ID: 19312440