The weight of all that hair, the blood-flow restricting pantsuits, the flashing disco lights and groovy dance moves are enough to stop your heart. But never fear, the Bee Gees are there to guide you through CPR. It turns out their 1970’s classic “Stayin’ Alive” has the perfect beat to resuscitate a failing heart.
At 103 beats per minute, “Stayin’ Alive” just about matches the 100 chest compressions per minute recommended by the American Heart Association. A small study at the University of Illinois medical school found that doctors and medicals students practicing CPR while listening to the song gave an average of 109 compressions per minute. The best part of all: The song really sticks in your head. Five weeks after the first trial, the doctors and students averaged 113 compressions per minute giving CPR just by thinking about that Bee Gees tune. “Stayin’ Alive” could turn into a real training tool for teaching CPR, which, when done correctly, triples the rate of survival after cardiac arrest.
One hundred beats per minute also happens to be about the pace of an easy jog. Every runner has their favorite song to run to —though few of them would be appropriate in a life-or-death situation. Like, oh, say, Kanye West’s “Gold Digger” or Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.”