Temporal Dynamics and Dimensional Specificity of the Affective Response to Exercise of Varying Intensity: Differing Pathways to a Common Outcome

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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Electroencephalographic (EEG) and self-report measures of affect were obtained from 27 participants (14 F, 13 M) before, during, and following 30 min of continuous exercise at low and high intensities to determine the respective temporal courses of affective response. Mood was measured via a visual analog mood scale (VAMS), the Positive and Negative Affect Schedules (PANAS-PA and -NA), and EEG hemispheric asymmetry as obtained from three electrode pairs: F4-F3, F8-F7, and P4-P3. Participants reported higher VAMS and lower PANAS-NA scores during low-intensity exercise relative to baseline, and the higher scores were maintained during recovery. In contrast, they reported lower scores on the VAMS during high-intensity exercise relative to baseline that were subsequently elevated during recovery. Also, during high-intensity exercise the PANAS-NA scores were similar to baseline, but they were lower during recovery. Both the VAMS and PANAS-NA scores observed after exercise were similar regardless of intensity. Additionally, participants had higher PANAS-PA and EEG hemispheric asymmetry scores (i.e., F8-F7) during exercise at both intensities relative to baseline, then reported values similar to baseline levels on cessation of work. The magnitude of change from baseline for the PANAS-PA and EEG scores during exercise was similar regardless of exercise intensity.

W.R. Bixby and B.D. Hatfield are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2611. T.W. Spalding, formerly at Maryland, is now with the Dept. of Kinesiology & Health Promotion, Cal State Polytechnic Univ., Pomona, CA 91768.

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