Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Kinesiology and Sport Studies

Major Professor

David R. Bassett

Committee Members

Kelley Strohacker, Scott Crouter, Debora Baldwin


Purpose: To determine the effects of television viewing during exercise on 1) preference for exercise and 2) treadmill walking time. Methods: Twenty-five insufficiently active adults (mean±standard deviation; age: 46±12 years; Body mass index: 31±5 kilogram/squared meter (kg/m2) were recruited for this study. In part 1, participants performed three randomized 1/3-mile walking bouts at an intensity equivalent to 70% of their oxygen consumption at ventilatory threshold (VO2-at-VT). During these exercise bouts, individuals viewed 1) their favorite television program (FavTV), 2) a standardized nature program (NatTV) or 3) no-TV program (NoTV). A behavioral choice paradigm was used to assess preference for exercising with each television condition. In part two, participants completed two randomized 60-minute visits in which they were asked to walk at 70% of VO2-at-VT for 10-minutes under FavTV or NoTV conditions. After 10 minutes, participants could choose to continue exercising under the current TV condition or stop exercising and watch television while seated. Participants were allowed to switch between exercise and rest as they desired during the remaining 50 minutes. Results: Preference for exercise was greater during FavTV and NatTV versus NoTV (p<0.05), with no differences between FavTV and NatTV (p=0.132). Despite difference in preferences for exercise, no significant difference in treadmill walking time was observed for FavTV vs NoTV (50.0 versus 44.7 minutes, respectively; p=0.102). Conclusions: This study provides empirical evidence that inactive individuals prefer walking with television viewing over walking with no television. Further research is needed to determine if active television viewing can translate to observable changes in exercise behaviors.

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