Jill Lucas, DuAnn Kremer, Hannah Angelella. University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, VA.

BACKGROUND: Lack of enjoyment and motivation are two common factors that deter people from engaging in physical activity and exercise on a regular basis. It has been found that visual stimulation during exercise may help motivate some people to achieve a greater level of exertion, however it may serve as a distraction for others. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of watching a motivational video (Tour de France cycling montage (MOT)) versus a calming video (Bob Ross watercolor painting (CALM)) while cycling. METHODS: Ten recreationally active subjects (60% female, 21.5 ± 0.7 yrs) completed two twenty-minute sessions on a stationary bike at a moderate intensity (12-14 on Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale). The order of the MOT and CALM treatments were randomized. Subjects wore noise-cancelling headphones to block out external auditory stimuli. The surrounding environment was consistent in both sessions and subjects were encouraged to visually focus only on the tablet playing the video. Subjects were able to adjust their pedaling cadence and resistance on the bike in order to maintain the prescribed intensity but were blinded to the bike’s informational display. RPE and heart rate (HR) were assessed pre-exercise, at 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes, and 1 minute post-exercise. Total distance biked (miles) was noted immediately post-exercise. Paired sample t-tests were used to compare differences between MOT and CALM for mileage, mean HR, and mean RPE. A 2x6 factorial ANOVA was conducted for HR and RPE from MOT and CALM compared across time. RESULTS: MOT improved mileage completed (8.01 ± 0.89 m vs 6.95 ± 1.05 m, p = 0.004), but had no effect on mean HR (MOT 137.8 ± 15.7 bpm, CALM 126.8 ± 18.1 bpm, p = 0.11) or mean RPE (MOT 12.9 ± 0.7, CALM 12.3 ± 1.3, p = 0.20). Significant simple main effects were found for HR and RPE across time (F (5,45) = 31.392, p < 0.001, F (5,45) = 35.187, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Subjects were able to increase performance while watching a motivational cycling video during exercise but did not perceive an increase in effort or intensity while doing so. Upbeat, motivational visual stimulation may be considered as a tool to encourage people to participate in greater amounts and/or higher intensities of exercise.

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