The effects of physical and mental fatigue on time perception

Goudini, Reza (2023) The effects of physical and mental fatigue on time perception. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Overview: The subjective perception of time holds a foundational significance within the realm of human psychology and our conceptualizations of reality. It forms an intrinsic component of the cognitive framework through which we elucidate the chronological progression of events within our lives. While some studies have examined the effects of exercise on time perception during the exercise period, there are no studies investigating the effects of fatiguing exercise on time perception after the exercise intervention. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the effects of physical and mental fatigue on time estimates over 30-seconds (5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-seconds) immediately after the exercise intervention and 6-minutes after the post-test. Participants: Seventeen healthy and recreationally active volunteers (14 males, 3 females) were subjected to three conditions: physical, mental fatigue, and control. Methods: All participants completed a familiarization and three experimental conditions (control, physical fatigue (cycling at 65% peak power output for 30 minutes), and mental fatigue (Stroop task for 1100 trials for 30 minutes) on separate days. Heart rate and body temperature were recorded at the pre-test, the start, 10-, 20-, 30- minutes of the intervention, post-test, and follow-up. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was also recorded during the intervention four times. Time perception was measured prospectively (at 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-seconds) at the pre-test, post-test, and 6-minute follow-up. Results: Physical fatigue significantly (p=0.001) underestimated time compared to mental fatigue and control conditions at the post-test and follow-up, with no significant differences between mental fatigue and control conditions. Heart rate, body temperature, and RPE were significantly higher in the physical fatigue compared to the mental fatigue and control conditions during the intervention and also at the post-test. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that cycling fatigue led to time underestimation compared to mental fatigue and control conditions. It is crucial to consider that physical fatigue has the potential to lengthen an individual's perception of time when estimating durations in sports or work environments.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 16137
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references
Keywords: heart rate, pacemaker accumulator model, rating of perceived exertion, exercise intensity, central fatigue
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Kinesiology
Date: September 2023
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Time perception; Mental fatigue; Fatigue; Exercise tests

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