The acute effects of arm ergometry on affect Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The primary purpose of this study was to test the predictions of the Dual-mode theory using arm ergometry as the exercise modality. It was hypothesized that changes in affect during exercise would be greater in high (105% GET) and low (80% GET) intensity exercise conditions than in a control condition, while differences in affect would be observed between exercise conditions. In addition, it was predicted that during recovery, there would be no differences in affect between the exercise conditions. Study participants were 24 physically active men. A within-subjects design was used. Affect was measured using the Activation-Deactivation Adjective Check List (Thayer, 1986) and the State Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger et al., 1970). Cognitive (i.e., self-efficacy, enjoyment) and physiological (i.e., heart rate, pain, perceived exertion) mediators of the exercise-affect relationship were also examined. Results showed that during exercise, changes in affect were greater in the exercise conditions than the control condition, and affective valence in the exercise conditions declined relative to the control condition. In partial support of the Dual-mode theory, self-efficacy mediated the relationship between below GET exercise and affect, whereas pain mediated the relationship between above GET exercise and affect. During recovery, arousal was higher in the exercise conditions compared to control, affective valence was less positive compared to control, and state anxiety did not differ across conditions. Finally, there were no significant differences between the two exercise conditions on any of the affect measures. These findings highlight the importance of exercise intensity to the affective benefits of exercise.


  • Barr, Neil
  • Martin Ginis, Kathleen A
  • Arent, Shawn M

publication date

  • August 2010