This study assessed self-selected exercise intensity of habitual walkers. Twenty-nine healthy adults (22 females, 7 males; age (mean +/- SD) = 34.9 +/- 8.6 yr) performed a typical exercise walk while walking speed was measured by an unseen observer. On a subsequent occasion, the subjects walked at the same pace on a treadmill while several variables related to exercise intensity were measured. The mean self-selected walking pace was 1.78 +/- 0.19 m.s-1. Mean percents of VO2max and HRmax elicited by the treadmill exercise were 52 +/- 11% and 70 +/- 9%, respectively. Mean MET level was 5.2 +/- 1.2, and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) averaged 10.9 +/- 1.6. Based on reported frequency and duration of walking, weekly energy expenditure in exercise walking was estimated to be 1127 +/- 783 kcal.wk-1. These data suggest that the self-selected exercise intensity of healthy, habitual exercise walkers meets the American College Sports Medicine's recommendation for improvement of cardiorespiratory fitness. These data further suggest that, in this population, the average weekly energy expended through walking reaches a level associated with improvements in health and longevity.
"While the majority of studies that have allowed participants to self-select intensity result in an exercise intensity within the levels recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) [13,14] exercise professionals typically prescribe exercise intensities rather than allow clients to self-select the intensity. This is presumably to ensure that all individuals are working at an intensity that would be beneficial to their health and to avoid over-exertion. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Positive affective responses can lead to improved adherence to exercise. This study sought to examine the affective responses and exercise intensity of self-selected exercise in adolescent girls.
An observational study where twenty seven females (Age M = 14.6 ± 0.8 years) completed three 20-minute exercise sessions (2 self-selected and 1 prescribed intensity) and a graded exercise test. The intensity of the prescribed session was matched to the first self-selected session. Intensity, affective responses and ratings of perceived exertion were recorded throughout the sessions and differences examined. Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted to examine differences.
There were no significant differences in intensity between the prescribed and self-selected sessions, but affective responses were significantly more positive (p < .01) during the self-selected session. Ratings of perceived exertion were significantly lower (p < .01) during the self-selected session than the prescribed session. On average participants worked at 72% V˙O2 peak; well within the intensity recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Even though the intensity did not differ between the self-selected and prescribed sessions, there was a significant impact on affective responses, with more positive affective responses being elicited in the self-selected session. This highlights the importance of autonomy and self-paced exercise for affective responses and may have potential long-term implications for adherence.
"Previous research suggests that even inexperienced adults correctly identify moderate intensity walking when information related to speed of walking and heart rate is linked to how their body feels when exercising . Spelman et al (1993)  also suggest that the self-selected exercise intensity of habitual exercise walkers approximates moderate intensity and meets the minimum American College of Sports Medicine recommendation for improving aerobic fitness. The findings from this current study suggest that the current descriptors commonly used to describe PA intensity in many PA guidelines, lead to the underestimation of moderate and vigorous effort PA, and underestimate the PA intensity required to achieve minimum health benefits. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BackgroundIt is unclear whether the common physical activity (PA) intensity descriptors used in PA guidelines worldwide align with the associated percent heart rate maximum method used for prescribing relative PA intensities consistently between sexes, ethnicities, age categories and across body mass index (BMI) classifications.ObjectivesThe objectives of this study were to determine whether individuals properly select light, moderate and vigorous intensity PA using the intensity descriptions in PA guidelines and determine if there are differences in estimation across sex, ethnicity, age and BMI classifications.Methods129 adults were instructed to walk/jog at a “light,” “moderate” and “vigorous effort” in a randomized order. The PA intensities were categorized as being below, at or above the following %HRmax ranges of: 50–63% for light, 64–76% for moderate and 77–93% for vigorous effort.ResultsOn average, people correctly estimated light effort as 51.5±8.3%HRmax but underestimated moderate effort as 58.7±10.7%HRmax and vigorous effort as 69.9±11.9%HRmax. Participants walked at a light intensity (57.4±10.5%HRmax) when asked to walk at a pace that provided health benefits, wherein 52% of participants walked at a light effort pace, 19% walked at a moderate effort and 5% walked at a vigorous effort pace. These results did not differ by sex, ethnicity or BMI class. However, younger adults underestimated moderate and vigorous intensity more so than middle-aged adults (P<0.05).ConclusionWhen the common PA guideline descriptors were aligned with the associated %HRmax ranges, the majority of participants underestimated the intensity of PA that is needed to obtain health benefits. Thus, new subjective descriptions for moderate and vigorous intensity may be warranted to aid individuals in correctly interpreting PA intensities.
PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97927. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097927 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"If using percent of predicted maximal HR to represent exercise intensity, then the range was 75.73–88.73% HR max in the present study, which is consistent with the range of 67–83% HR max in previous studies (Lind et al. 2005; Murtagh et al. 2002; Spelman et al. 1993), although it is somewhat higher and with greater variability. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: “Self-selected intensity” might be an applicable health promotion strategy, and there is evidence to indicate that the range of self-selected intensity corresponds to the American College of Sports Medicine's recommendation while interindividual variability is great. Hence, investigating the determinants influencing the range of self-selected intensity is encouraged. The purpose of the present study was to explore the heart rate (HR) responses in subjects with different exercise experience levels to 20 minutes of continuous running at self-selected intensity in outdoor (field) and indoor (treadmill) settings. Twenty-six male participants were recruited and assigned to either a high exercise experience group (HG) or low exercise experience group (LG). Each participant performed two bouts of running in field and treadmill settings on separate days, and the sequences of the testing were counterbalanced. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and 2 × 2 mixed design analysis of variance. The intensity represented in HR reserve in HGfield, HGtreadmill, LGfield and LGtreadmill were 80.55%, 65.24%, 88.49%and 82.91%, respectively. HG had lower HR response than LG in both field and treadmill settings, and all participants had higher HR response in the field setting compared to the treadmill. Additionally, the interaction effect between exercise experience and exercise setting was significant. HG self-selected lower exercise intensities might be due to their better heartbeat perception, and therefore they could tune exercise intensity finely in the self-regulation process. The higher HR response observed in the field setting might relate to more disturbances from being in an outdoor environment. Exercise settings should be taken into account when prescribing exercise programs.
Journal of exercise science and fitness (JESF) 01/2010; 8(2):73-77. DOI:10.1016/S1728-869X(10)60011-1 · 0.33 Impact Factor
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