Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Lack of physical activity is associated with multiple health risks including obesity, heart disease, and premature death. Encouraging people to increase exercise has been difficult due to multiple barriers such as lack of energy, time, and competition with sedentary behaviors. Many researchers have tried to manipulate distraction from pain and internal cues while exercising as a way to increase the amount a person exercises. Music has been found to be an effective distractor for decreasing perceived level of exertion and increasing the amount exercised in runners (Brownley et al., 1995; Bourdeaudhuij et al., 2002). The purpose of the current experiment was to examine the effects of television on increasing exercise by distracting participants whom are running on a treadmill. Forty-two adults from a small fitness center participated in a between subjects design in which half viewed a television while exercising while the other half did not view a television while exercising. Distance walked/ran and focus of attention were compared to determine if watching a television while exercising distracted attention and increased distance walked/ran. A significant effect was found for distraction in that the television group reported more external thoughts than the no television group.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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