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

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

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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.

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.

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.

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
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fatigue; perception; endurance; sprint; rowing; cycling
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV0558 Sports science
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Human and Life Sciences
Depositing User: Andrew Edwards
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2018 13:59
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2018 08:00
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/17532

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00