Beat this – the ‘proven’ ultimate workout playlist

Sometimes you have to look at the data and just say no. That's not right. Spotify has released what it calls the ultimate workout playlist which has 20 songs scientifically proven to be the best ones to get you going and keep you exercising. There's a real scientist involved – Dr Costas Karageorghis, read his Brunel University bio – and the claim is that 6.7 million tracks were analysed.

You're unthinkingly assuming that there aren't 6.7m songs in the world, though you're not sure, and you're also unthinkingly presuming that it isn't that they listened to one song 6.7m times. There is no doubt in your mind that it'll be something in the middle of those two extremes and you're right. But possibly it's just a wee bit slanted toward the one song 6.7m times.

Easily the most respected and revered peer-reviewed science journal in the world, Britain's Daily Mail explains:

The team analysed 6.7 million Spotify playlists containing the word ‘workout’ in the title and compared the different beats per minute (bpm) to those used in certain workouts. For example, a person’s typical stride rate while jogging or running is 150 to 190 strides per minute. If these figures are halved it gives a range of 75 to 95 bpm – the beat range found most commonly in urban music, particularly rap.

There's your skew right there. They looked at the music of people who already go to the gym enough to make playlists and to give them names with the word 'workout' in them. It's not fair or statistically proven that the age of these people will tend toward the younger end of the scale but you know it's true and at least I used the word statisically instead of SCIENTISTS PROVE YOUNG PEOPLE USE GYMS.

And still I can't quite accept the findings of this research because Spotify has published the playlist. I'm 48 and I haven't heard any track on the list. I haven't even heard of any of the tracks on the list.

Tell me Spotify wants a playlist of current tracks, I'll believe you. But tell me that it is scientifically proven that no piece of music of any kind ever beats these twenty released since last Wednesday and I have my doubts.

I'm just not willing to go to a gym to prove it to you or to affect the statistics. Or listen to the music.

But other than that, we're good, right?

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