Effect of observation on exhaustion and social physique anxiety




Parikh, Vishwa Sameer


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Introduction: Exercising in a crowd could make some people more anxious regarding their body which can affect exercise performance (McCann et al., 2007; Gammage et al., 2009). A construct within anxiety, social physique anxiety (SPA) combines body image with social anxiety, by measuring the apprehension reported when one worries about others’ perception of one’s body structure (Hart et al., 1989). General anxiety has been found to be associated with fatigue (McCann et al., 2007), but whether crowd-related anxiety is also associated with more risk of fatigue is uncertain. Purpose Statement: This study examined the differences in exhaustion and SPA following exercising while being observed versus without observation. Methods: Fifteen recreationally active volunteers were recruited as participants. Exercise testing was performed in two different sessions through the cycling maximal oxygen consumption test, at fixed speed for each participant. SPA scoring was done using a nine-item questionnaire before and after each session. While one session of testing for everyone involved no recording, another included a recording device being set up. After each session, participants were requested to give their rate of perceived exertion (RPE) ratings. Repeated measure nonparametric test was used to analyze the differences in all scores between and within the two sessions. Results: Differences in each question of SPA were trivial to moderate. Large difference was observed for male participants’ respiratory exchange ratio (RER). Trivial differences were observed between the two sessions for time to exhaustion. Small negative correlations were noted between RPE and SPA and between SPA and time to exhaustion (TTE).


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Kinesiology.


exhaustion, observation, recording, social physique anxiety



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