Can High-Intensity Exercise Be More Pleasant? Attentional Dissociation Using Music and Video

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Brunel University London
  • 2 Iowa State University
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Theories suggest that external stimuli (e.g., auditory and visual) may be rendered ineffective in modulating attention when exercise intensity is high. We examined the effects of music and parkland video footage on psychological measures during and after stationary cycling at two intensities: 10% of maximal capacity below ventilatory threshold and 5% above. Participants (N = 34) were exposed to four conditions at each intensity: music only, video only, music and video, and control. Analyses revealed main effects of condition and exercise intensity for affective valence and perceived activation (p < .001), state attention (p < .05), and exercise enjoyment (p < .001). The music-only and music-and-video conditions led to the highest valence and enjoyment scores during and after exercise regardless of intensity. Findings indicate that attentional manipulations can exert a salient influence on affect and enjoyment even at intensities slightly above ventilatory threshold.

Leighton Jones and Costas I. Karageorghis are with the Department of Life Sciences, Brunel University London, UK. Panteleimon Ekkekakis is with the Department of Kinesiology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA.

Address author correspondence to Costas I. Karageorghis at costas.karageorghis@brunel.ac.uk.