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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


School of Kinesiology and Recreation

First Advisor

Dale Brown


Technological advances like smartphones and computers have led to an increase in screen time and decrease in physical activity. These technologies have been found to be negatively associated with physical activity, however they may also be used to promote activity. Mobile applications and physical activity devices may be used to provide visual biofeedback to individuals to promote increased physical activity, adherence to exercise programs, and exercising at higher intensity levels. PURPOSE: The objective is to determine if visual heart rate monitor biofeedback motivates college-aged students to maintain a higher overall exercise intensity during a stationary cycling class. The study is also interested in determining which type of visual biofeedback participants prefer. METHODS: A within-subject design was used to determine how visual biofeedback impacts exercise intensity. Thirty participants volunteered for the study and completed three cycling sessions. During each cycling session, the class was randomly assigned to either a No Feedback, Individual Feedback, or a Group Feedback condition. Each participant was assigned a heart rate monitor sensor, heart rate monitor strap, and an identification number in order to record their exercise intensity. At the beginning of the first class, the participants completed the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety surveys (STAI). For the second and third cycling sessions, the participants only completed the Spielberger State Anxiety survey. At the end of each exercise session, the participants completed a survey indicating if they enjoyed the visual feedback and using the heart rate monitors. On the final day of data collection, they also indicated which visual biofeedback condition they preferred the most. RESULTS: The Group Feedback condition spent a higher percentage of time above 80% of their age-predicted heart rate max compared to the other conditions. This condition spent 17.5% of their time in the 80-90% heart rate zone and 2.8% in the 90-100% heart rate zone. In addition, the 1-way repeated measures ANOVA found significant difference between the time spent in the 60-70% heart rate zone between the three conditions. The results showed that the Group Feedback condition had the highest average caloric expenditure (293.5 kcal), average heart rate (138.1 bpm), and maximal heart rate (174.4 bpm). The results indicated 21 (70%) participants preferred the Group Feedback condition, 4 participants (13.3%) favored the Individual Feedback, 1 participant (3.3%) preferred No Feedback, and 4 participants (13.3%) had No Preference for either condition. There was also a significant positive correlation between the Group Feedback's RPE and enjoyment of receiving group feedback. The RPE of the Individual Feedback condition was also positively correlated with working harder because of the heart rate monitor and visual feedback. CONCLUSION: Overall, participants preferred the Group Feedback condition over Individual Feedback and No Feedback Conditions. The study also found that visual feedback was associated with exercise intensity and enjoyment of the exercise session. The group visual feedback produced a higher average heart rate, maximal heart rate, and greater percent of time spent above 70% of heart rate max when compared to Individual Feedback and No Feedback conditions. Future research is needed to determine if there are significant differences between the visual feedback conditions.


Imported from ProQuest Reynolds_ilstu_0092N_10701.pdf


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