Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Does Equating Total Volume of Work between Two Different Exercise Conditions Matter When Examining Exercise-Induced Feeling States?

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Does Equating Total Volume of Work between Two Different Exercise Conditions Matter When Examining Exercise-Induced Feeling States?

Article excerpt

Key words: exercise intensity and duration, feeling states

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the role of acute exercise in reducing mild depression (Morgan, 1994) and anxiety (Petruzzello, Landers, Hatfield, Kubitz, & Salazar, 1991; Tate & Petruzzello, 1995) and increasing positive feeling states (Blanchard, Rodgers, Courneya, & Spence, 2001; Blanchard, Rodgers, Spence, & Courneya, 2002; Gauvin, Rejeski, & Norris, 1996; McAuley & Courneya, 1994; Treasure & Newberry, 1998). These psychological responses to acute exercise are particularly important, as they have been proposed to be an important factor in determining future exercise behavior (Rejeski, 1992; Gauvin & Brawley, 1993).

Given the proposed feeling state behavior link, it is hardly surprising that research has focused on optimizing the combination of exercise intensity and duration needed to induce positive feeling state changes. Previous research examining this issue has typically compared low (e.g., a rating of perceived exertion of 11, 50% maximal oxygen uptake, or 50% heart rate reserve) versus high (e.g., a rating of perceived exertion of 16, 70% maximal oxygen uptake, or 80% heart rate reserve) intensity exercise while holding duration constant (Blanchard et al., 2001, 2002; Bulbulian & Darabos, 1986; Farrell, Gustafson, Morgan, & Pert, 1987; Gauvin, Rejeski, Norris, & Lutes, 1997; Steptoe, Kearsley, & Walters, 1993; Treasure & Newberry, 1998), Unfortunately, this approach has been limited by insufficient statistical power and inadequate control for physical fitness, leaving the feeling state-exercise intensity relationship somewhat equivocal (Ekkekakis & Petruzzello, 1999). Another important consideration is that the total volume of work is different between two exercise bouts using this approach, for example, the total volume of work done by an individual exercising for 15 min at 70% maximal oxygen uptake (V[O.sub.2]max) is greater than for an individual exercising for 15 min at 50% V[O.sub.2]max. Therefore, any effect of exercise intensity on the change in feeling states may be due to the total volume of work done (i.e., volume may be confounding the intensity effect).

An alternative method used in the exercise physiology literature to examine similar issues is to "trade intensity for duration" (Hardman, 2001). In this approach, the total volume of work is equated between conditions by having participants exercise at (a) a higher intensity-shorter duration (HISD), and (b) a lower intensity-longer duration (LILD). Research adopting this approach examines the null hypothesis that the effects of HISD exercise on the changes in feeling states from pre- to postexercise will be equal to that of LILD exercise, when the total volume of work is equated (Hardman, 2001). It is important to note, however, that this approach confounds intensity with duration (i.e., one can not delineate that a change in feeling states is due to the intensity or duration per se). It does, however, indicate whether feeling state changes will be similar (or not) for a person who exercises at a HISD compared to a LILD. Obviously, all three variables (i.e., volume, intensity, and duration) cannot be controlled for simultaneously.

Therefore, to offer novel information to the acute exercise-feeling state literature, we used the latter approach in the present study.

The primary purpose of the present study was to use a community sample of exercisers participating in a 12-week exercise program to compare feeling state changes of those who exercised at a HISD versus a LILD. Within this study, pre- and postexercise feelings states were compared between the two different exercise prescriptions equated for total volume of work on three different occasions. Previous research is equivocal regarding the moderating influence of fitness on the acute exercise-feeling state relationship. …

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