Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Marcus W. Kilpatrick

Keywords

Affect, Deception, Feeling Scale, Rating of Perceived Exertion, RPE, Teleoanticipation

Abstract

The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale is a primary tool for researchers and practitioners in exercise science to describe the intensity level subjects are experiencing when participating in exercise sessions. It has recently been suggested that RPE is not simply the direct result of interpretation of physiological changes as originally postulated, but is also influenced by affect, past experience, and time to completion, a concept coined as teleoanticipation.

The purpose of this study was to determine the role of teleoanticipation in a sedentary population, by examining the effect unexpected increases in exercise duration on rating of perceived exertion and affect during low intensity treadmill walking. Based on the findings of prior studies, it is expected that the unexpected duration session will elicit higher RPE values and lower affect scores as measured by the feeling scale (FS) than the expected duration session.

Ten participants between the ages of 18 and 45 years participated in the study. All participants were sedentary or insufficiently active with respect to physical activity for at least six months prior to the beginning of the study. Only participants with low to moderate risk according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines were admitted.

All volunteers participated in one familiarization session followed by two trials of treadmill exercise. The familiarization trial was used to determine the treadmill speed in subsequent trials. All experimental trials were 30 minutes in length in partial accordance with ACSM guidelines, but the third trial in each group was presented as being 20 minutes and was extended to 30 minutes using a deception procedure employed in related research. Participants were informed at the 20-minute mark that the session would be extended to 30 minutes. Speed remained constant during both experimental trials.

RPE and heart rate were recorded every minute to preclude volunteers from noticing the difference an increased interest in RPE responses around the 20-minute mark. Affect was measured by way of the feeling scale (FS) every other minute during the experimental trials. Blood pressure was recorded every five minutes to ensure participant safety.

Results indicated a significant main effect for time for RPE (p = 0.001); however, there was no significant main effect for time and no interaction for RPE (p > 0.05) and no significant main effect and no interaction for FS. The primary finding from this investigation was that unexpected exercise durations have no affect on RPE or FS at low intensities in untrained, sedentary populations. Results suggest there may be a threshold of intensity required for a teleoanticipatory effect. More research is needed to further compare these effects with those of moderately and highly trained populations in medium or high intensity situations.

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