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Ashley A. Cook, Kyle W. Reason, Scott T. Lyons, FACSM, Jean Ann Helm Allen, Matt J. Green, FACSM, Lauren G. Killen. University of North Alabama, Florence, AL.

BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading cause of death contributing to more than 3 million deaths annually. Despite the well-established benefits of physical activity (PA), only 50.9% of individuals meet the recommended guidelines set forth by the ACSM. The lack of PA is possibly linked to barriers such as perceived time restraints, social support, and enjoyment of activity. To address these barriers, group exercise classes such as Spin offers a low impact class that allows individuals to follow the cues of an instructor while cycling at a self-selected intensity based on one’s current fitness levels. While the use of a virtual Spin class, such as Peloton, offers the instruction of a typical gym-based class with a lower cost and convenience of exercising in one’s home, the impact of exercising without other individuals on one’s intensity selection is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of an exercise partner on intensity selection and perceived enjoyment during a virtual Spin class. METHODS: Twenty-four sedentary individuals between the ages of 18 and 45 who do not currently meet the ACSM recommended 150-minutes of PA will be recruited to participate in the study. Each participant will complete a graded cycling test on the Velotron to measure VO2peak. Following the peak trial, participants will report to the lab on two separate occasions to complete two interactive Spin trials using the Peloton app. One will be completed with a cycling partner and one without a cycling partner. During the class, participants will be allowed to adjust their resistance (wattage) as they deem necessary based on the cues from the instructor and their current fitness status. Following each trial, participants will complete a session RPE, the PACES questionnaire, and report which trial they preferred during exercise. Results will be analyzed using multiple 2 x 6 factorial ANOVA to assess statistical differences in intensity selection (wattage, VO2, HR & RPE). Post hoc paired samples t-tests will be used for follow up analysis if differences are detected. To evaluate differences in enjoyment, paired samples t tests will also be used. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is hypothesized that not only will intensity selection be greater during the partner exercise session, but the session will also be perceived as more enjoyable than the individual session.

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