In the zone: Study finds that using headphones during exercise helps athletes stay focused
Whether it’s for taking a brisk walk, going for a bike ride or for running a few laps on the track, many top and amateur athletes alike consider their headphones a real workout essential. A recent study of roughly 800 athletes in UK and the U.S. who engage in sports at least once or twice a month has found that staying focused is the key reason for using headphones when exercising.
While self-motivation is clearly a key motive for headphone usage during sports, with more than half of the respondents saying their headphones help them stay focused, creating a personal space is also an important factor. 32 percent of the interviewees say they put their headphones on for their workout because it enables them to listen to whatever they want and 27 percent say they do so to block outside noise.
The poll, conducted by market research institute alegas for audio specialist Sennheiser, found that nearly one third of the respondents wear headphones so they do not get bored when exercising.* As 46 percent of the interviewees stated they were typically on their own when practicing sports**, headphones seem to serve as a workout buddy for some athletes – someone to help you pick yourself up and make the best of your exercise time.
While 53 percent of the respondents cited a secure fit as the main reason for them to prefer specialized sports headphones during their workout, special water- and sweat-resistant materials were another priority for many (39 percent)***. “Sports headphones should be especially comfortable and easy to use. Sennheiser’s sports headphone models MX 686 SPORTS, CX 686 SPORTS, OCX 686 SPORTS and PMX 686 SPORTS are specifically tailored to these requirements: featuring slide-to-fit ear adapters, a flexible earhook securing mechanism or an adjustable headband, each model provides a well-thought-out solution to ensure a perfect fit. Moreover, by using carefully selected high-tech materials, we made sure our SPORTS headphones are water-resistant, so they withstand the rigours of any workout and can be cleaned easily,” said Daniel Chee, Product Manager Essentials at Sennheiser Consumer Electronics.
Along with going to the gym, exercise walking as well as jogging and running were among the types of sports practiced most frequently. The majority of respondents agreed that the main purpose of their sport activities was their personal well-being and fitness (61 percent). While about one third said they mainly engaged in sports because it gave them pleasure, only 17 percent of the interviewees stated they did so for competitive or performance reasons.** “Recreational athletes who exercise to feel good and stay healthy want to be able to just take their headphones and go. Rugged, wired sports headphone models are a good choice here, as users can just get started whenever they feel like it without needing to bother about battery charging. Featuring tangle-free cables, the four models of the Sennheiser SPORTS headphone range ensure additional ease of use,” said Daniel Chee.
*n=564; multiple answers possible
** n=808; multiple answers possible
*** n=120; multiple answers possible