Article Title



A Moore


Andrew Moore. Augusta University, Augusta, GA.

BACKGROUND Time is perceived to pass differently in unique situations. Several factors, including physiological arousal and attentional focus, contribute to these alterations in perceived time. Physical activity impacts time perception at high intensities, but more familiar modes of exercise require less attention to coordinate movement. The effect of exercise familiarity on timing has not been investigated, therefore the purpose of this study was to determine the impact of familiar and unfamiliar exercise modes on time perception during exercise. METHODS Recreational runners (4 total; 2 men; age 37.5 ± 6.6 years) completed exercise trials of 5, 10, and 15 min of perceived duration on familiar (treadmill running) and unfamiliar (arm ergometer) exercise modes, in two different sessions separated by at least 48 hours. On a given session, all exercise trials were completed on one mode in a randomized and counterbalanced manner with no watches or timing devices present during testing. Subjects were instructed to exercise at a self-adjusted Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE) score of 15 (“hard”) for what they believed was the specified amount of time. The actual time of the exercise trials was measured and compared to the respective goal time to yield a value of time estimation accuracy (TEA), wherein a higher TEA indicates time was perceived to move slowly. The effects of mode (familiar and unfamiliar) and estimate length (5, 10, and 15 min) were assessed with a 2 x 3 repeated-measures ANOVA, α = .05. RESULTS TEA decreased at each level of estimate length from 5 min (1.09±0.06) to 10 min (0.94±0.07) to 15 min (0.86±0.18), but these differences were not significant despite a large effect size (p=.05, ω2=.33). There was no interaction effect between mode and estimate length on TEA (p=.86, ω2=.00) or main effect of mode on time TEA (p=.55, ω2=.00). CONCLUSION Exercise familiarity did not impact TEA among recreational runners during physical activity at a self-selected intensity of RPE 15. A possible explanation is that subjects regulated work rate and attention in a manner that preserved time estimation ability regardless of exercise mode due to robust physical activity experience. There was a trend for longer time periods to be perceived as being shorter, possibly implicating exercise fatigue in the time estimation process. Ongoing data collection will more clearly elucidate the effect of time estimate and mode on TEA.

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