Impact of active and passive social facilitation on self-paced endurance and sprint exercise: Encouragement augments performance and motivation to exercise

Andrew Mark Edwards*, Lia Dutton-Challis, David Cottrell, Joshua H. Guy, Florentina Johanna Hettinga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The positive effect of an audience on performance is anecdotally well known, but the impact of such social facilitation to both performance and the motivation to exercise have not been thoroughly explored. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate verbal encouragement as a means to promote positive behavioural adherence to exercise and augmented performance. Methods: Twelve untrained but active individuals (seven female), age 24±3 years participated in this study. Exercise conditions with external verbal encouragement (EVE) and without external verbal encouragement (WEVE) were compared in both endurance (20 min) and sprint (2 × 30 s Wingate) cycling tasks in a randomised crossover design. Results were analysed by separate 2 (EVE/WEVE) × 2 (sprint/endurance) within-subjects analyses of variance for each dependent variable. Statistical significance was set at p≤0.05. Results: EVE resulted in a significant increase, F(1,11) =15.37, p=0.002, ηp 2 =0.58 in the average power generated by participants in each exercise bout on the cycle ergometer. EVE also had a significant effect on reported motivation to exercise the next day, F(1,11) =5.5, p=0.04, ηp 2 =0.33, which did not differ between type of exercise. Conclusion: External encouragement in both sprint and endurance activities resulted in large improvements in performance and motivation to continue an exercise regimen the next day, which has important implications for health, adherence and maximising physical performance using a practical intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000368
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes

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