Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2014) 13, 266 - 270
Research article
An Enjoyable Distraction During Exercise Augments the Positive Effects of Exercise on Mood
Gregory J. Privitera, Danielle E. Antonelli, Abigail L. Szal

Department of Psychology, Saint Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, New York, USA

Gregory J. Privitera
‚úČ Department of Psychology, Saint Bonaventure University, 3261 West State Street, St. Bonaventure, New York, 14778, USA
Email: gprivite@sbu.edu

Received:
03-10-2013 -- Accepted: 27-11-2013 --
Published (online): 01-05-2014

ABSTRACT

The hypothesis that an enjoyable distraction during exercise will augment the intensity of positive mood post-exercise was tested. A sample of 84 undergraduate students rated their mood and arousal before and after a standardized exercise, which consisted of walking on a treadmill at a pace of 3.6 mph for 10 minutes. During the work out session, participants watched the same television show, which they previously rated as enjoyable, or not enjoyable. As added controls, a third group exercised with no distraction (the TV was turned off); a fourth group did not exercise, but watched the television show. The results showed that exercise alone was sufficient to increase pleasant mood (95% CI 0.61, 1.46) and that including an enjoyable distraction during exercise significantly augmented pleasant mood compared to all other groups (95% CI 1.58, 2.99; R2 = 0.29). These results show that the enjoyment of a distraction is a key factor that can augment the intensity of positive mood following exercise.

Key words: Distraction, exercise, aerobic, mood, enjoyment
Key Points
  • The hypothesis that an enjoyable distraction during exercise will augment the intensity of positive mood post-exercise was tested.
  • The results support this hypothesis by showing for the first time that while exercise alone was sufficient to increase the intensity of positive mood; combining exercise with an enjoyable distraction resulted in significantly greater increases in pleasant mood compared to exercise alone.
  • Accounting for the enjoyment of a distraction type in future studies can increase the sensitivity of research designs used to detect changes in positive mood post-exercise.
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    Abigail L. Szal, Gregory J. Privitera, Danielle E. Antonelli, (2014) An Enjoyable Distraction During Exercise Augments the Positive Effects of Exercise on Mood. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (13), 266 - 270.

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