Exercising with an iPod, friend, or neither: Which is better for psychological benefits?

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PNG Publications, American Journal of Health Behavior


OBJECTIVE: To examine the role of music and social contact on exercise benefits. METHODS: Two hundred twenty-nine (n = 229) students were randomly assigned to one of 6 conditions: biking alone with iPod or friend in a laboratory, walking alone with iPod or friend outdoors, or biking or walking alone in control conditions. All participants completed 20 minutes of exercise at 70% of their maximum target heart rate. RESULTS: Exercising in control conditions indoors resulted in a more relaxed and calm response. Exercising outdoors was more enjoyable and resulted in less tension and stress. CONCLUSIONS: Exercise environment impacts psychological benefits of exercise.