The Effects of Exercising in Different Natural Environments on Psycho-Physiological Outcomes in Post-Menopausal Women: A Simulation Study
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The current study examined potential psycho-physiological benefits from exercising in simulated natural environments among a sample of post-menopausal women using a laboratory based protocol. Participants cycled on a stationary exercise bike for 15 min while facing either a blank wall (Control) or while watching one of three videos: Urban (Grey), Countryside (Green), Coast (Blue). Blood pressure, heart rate and affective responses were measured pre-post. Heart rate, affect, perceived exertion and time perception were also measured at 5, 10 and 15 min during exercise. Experience evaluation was measured at the end. Replicating most earlier findings, affective, but not physiological, outcomes were more positive for exercise in the simulated Green and, for the first time, Blue environment, compared to Control. Moreover, only the simulated Blue environment was associated with shorter perceived exercise duration than Control and participants were most willing to repeat exercise in the Blue setting. The current research extended earlier work by exploring the effects of "blue exercise" and by using a demographic with relatively low average levels of physical activity. That this sample of postmenopausal women were most willing to repeat a bout of exercise in a simulated Blue environment may be important for physical activity promotion in this cohort.
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