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

McCormick, Alister and Edwards, Andrew M. (2017) Time perception, pacing and exercise intensity: maximal exercise distorts the perception of time. Physiology & Behavior, 180 (15). pp. 98-102. ISSN 0031-9384

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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 30 s Wingate cycles and 20 min (1200 s) 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 Type: Article
Keywords: Fatigue, Perception, Endurance, Sprint, Rowing, Cycling
Depositing User: Ms Alice Primmer
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2017 14:35
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2020 13:17
URI: https://marjon.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/16039

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