As almost every 80s song has pointed out, music has the power to move you. Turns out that for people with Parkinson’s, who move way more than they volunteer to, a solid beat may help improve their walking gait.
Researchers at University of Pittsburgh conducted a study involving healthy participants that used audio, tactile, and visual cues to deliver a constant beat from a metronome. Their walking was analyzed using a belt worn accelerometer and a sensor in the shoes while under each separate type of cue, none at all, and all together. The results indicate that an audio beat provides a significant effect on a person’s walk, while visual cues had almost no effect at all, and tactile was somewhere in the middle. The researchers believe that the findings point to conducting further studies with Parkinson’s patients for whom a controlled, regular walking gait could be of great benefit.
University of Pittsburgh: Walking to the Beat Could Help Patients with Parkinson’s Disease
Study in PLoS ONE: The Effects of Rhythmic Sensory Cues on the Temporal Dynamics of Human Gait