The Effect of Television Viewing on Psychological Variables and Running Performance

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Brian Rider, Kinesiology, Dr. Maureen Dunn, Kinesiology

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Music has been shown to positively impact athletic performance during exercise. There is currently a dearth of knowledge on the effect another form of media, television (TV), has on specific psycho-physiological variables during exercise. Though recent research has shown that viewing self-selected TV programs can positively impact reported enjoyment of exercise, it is unclear as to what, if any, effect different types of TV programs would have on exercise performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two types of video footage on running performance, ratings of perceived exertion, motivation, affect, arousal and exercise enjoyment when compared to a no-TV condition. METHODS: 10 college students completed a maximal exertion treadmill test at three separate trials while watching either nature footage, sports clips, or no TV. At each trial the subjects ran for 3 minutes at 10% and 20% below their ventilatory thresholds (VT), then ran for as long as they could at 10% above their VT. Both during and upon completion of each trial they completed various surveys aimed at discerning the psychological impact of the video footage. RESULTS:There were significant differences in reported enjoyment between the sports condition (84.3±11.9) and the no TV condition (68.6±17.2) (P= 0.009) (PACES). There were no significant differences in RPE between conditions at stage 1,2,3 or the end of the test. While there was a correlation between those who reported greater levels of PA per week and those who were "intrinsically" motivated towards exercise, there was no correlation between motivation type and reported enjoyment of exercise. Additionally, time until fatigue was not significantly different between conditions. CONCLUSION: This study confirms the results of previous research in that TV viewing during exercise does result in greater reported enjoyment compared to a no-TV condition. However, it does not positively or negatively impact performance.

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