Time perception, pacing and exercise intensity: maximal exercise distorts the perception of time

Edwards, A.M., and McCormick, A. (2017) Time perception, pacing and exercise intensity: maximal exercise distorts the perception of time. Physiology and Behavior, 180. pp. 98-102.

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Introduction Currently there are no data examining the impact of exercise on the perception of time, which is surprising as optimal competitive performance is dependent on accurate pacing using knowledge of time elapsed. Methods With institutional ethics approval, 12 recreationally active adult participants (f = 7, m = 5) undertook both 30s Wingate cycles and 20 min (1200s) rowing ergometer bouts as short and long duration self-paced exercise trials, in each of three conditions on separate occasions: 1) light exertion: RPE 11, 2) heavy exertion: RPE 15, 3) maximal exertion: RPE 20. Participants were unaware of exercise duration and were required to verbally indicate when they perceived (subjective time) 1) 25%, 2) 50%, 3) 75% and 4) 100% of each bout's measured (chronological) time had elapsed. Results In response to the Wingate task, there was no difference between durations of subjective time at the 25%, nor at the 50% interval. However, at the 75% and 100% intervals, the estimate for the RPE 20 condition was shortest (P < 0.01). In response to rowing, there were no differences at the 25% interval, but there was some evidence that the RPE 20 condition was perceived shorter at 50%. At 75% and 100%, the RPE 20 condition was perceived to be shorter than both RPE 15 (P = 0.04) and RPE 11 (P = 0.008) conditions. Conclusion This study is the first to empirically demonstrate that exercise intensity distorts time perception, particularly during maximal exercise. Consequently external feedback of chronological time may be an important factor for athletes undertaking maximal effort tasks or competitions.

Item ID: 54142
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-507X
Keywords: cycling, endurance, fatigue, perception, rowing, sprint
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2018 00:14
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology @ 70%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320225 Sports medicine @ 30%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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