Sarcopenia is a major problem occurring in the aging population. Based on previous research, music appears to have a positive influence on many aspects of life, including physical performance. This led to the question of whether listening to self-selected favorite music could improve peripheral muscle strength in older people. In this crossover study, community-dwelling people aged 65 and older were included. All participants performed handgrip strength measurements in three different circumstances: while listening to their favorite music, their most disliked music, and no music at all. As the primary outcome measurement, the within-person differences in maximum handgrip strength between the three music conditions were analyzed. A total of 153 participants (aged 73.0 ± 6 years) were included. Listening to favorite music resulted in an increase in maximum handgrip strength of +0.87 kgf (0.54–1.21, p
< 0.001) compared to no music, and of +0.97 kgf (0.56–1.37, p
< 0.001) compared to least favorite music. Thus, listening to favorite music has a positive effect on handgrip strength in older people. Apart from its implications for scientific grip strength measurements, this effect may be used as a fun and innocent stimulant in rehabilitation and workout classes with seniors, which could be further tested in a range of older people.
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