Mood disturbance during cycling performance at altitude

Lane, Andrew M. and Whyte, Gregory P. and Shave, R. and Barney, Sam and Wilson, M. and Terry, Peter C. (2003) Mood disturbance during cycling performance at altitude. In: American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference 2003, 28-31 May 2003, San Francisco, United States.

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Elite performance can require athletes to perform optimally in hypoxic conditions. Research findings show that exercising in hypoxia can produce a stress response, characterised by increased negative mood, and relatively poor performance. Recent research suggests that depressed mood is the most influential mood dimension (Lane and Terry, 2000), and that individuals reporting depressed mood tend also to report increased fatigue, confusion, anger, and tension and reduced vigour. PURPOSE: The purpose of the present study was to investigate mood changes during a two-hour cycling test during hypoxic and normoxic conditions. A second aim was to investigate mood dynamics that lead to depressed mood. METHODS: Eight male elite cyclists (Age: 26.23  6.74yrs; VO2max: 67.4  6.3 volunteered to participate in the study. Participants performed two 50-mile cycle bouts on a stationary cycle ergometer rig. Trials were randomly assigned from normobaric normoxia and normobaric hypoxia (FIO2 ≈15.3%, a simulated altitude of 2,500 metres), and were separated by two weeks. Both cycle bouts were performed at an intensity equivalent to lactate threshold (previously determined in normobaric normoxia). Mood was assessed before, after one hour, after two hours and on completion of the 50 mile ride using the 24-item Brunel Mood Scale (Terry, Lane, Lane, & Keohane, 1999), which assesses anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, tension, and vigor. RESULTS: Repeated measures ANOVA (time x condition) results showed that fatigue increased significantly more at altitude than at sea level (F 1,7 = 5.73, p < .05, Eta2 = .45). Other unpleasant mood states also increased more during the hypoxic condition than the normoxic condition. Effects were moderate, although not statistically significant, for anger (F 1,7 = 3.87, p = .09, Eta2 =.36), confusion (F 1,7 = 2.21, p = .18, Eta2 =.24), depression (F 1,7 = 2.88, p = .13, Eta2 =.29), and tension (F 1,7 = 3.09, p = .12, Eta2 = .31). Vigor scores decreased more during the altitude ride (F 1,7 = 2.26, p = .18, Eta2 = .25). An examination of mood dynamics indicated that increases in depressed mood followed an exponential increase in fatigue, rather than the other way around, and that once depressed mood was activated it was associated with increased anger, confusion, and tension and reduced vigor. CONCLUSIONS: Findings lend support to the notion that, compared to sea level, performing intense exercise at altitude is associated with greater mood disturbance. It is suggested that future research investigates the post-exercise duration of such mood disturbance and the interplay between mood dynamics and the type of coping strategies used by athletes during intense exercise.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: D-14H Free Communication/Poster Altitude Effects/Hyperbaria.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2010 11:18
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2012 01:45
Uncontrolled Keywords: mood disturbance; cycling; performance; altitude
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520107 Sport and exercise psychology
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 92 Health > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified

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