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Profiling individuals for pleasurable physical exercise : the neuropsychology of tolerance of exercise intensity

Abstract : Affective responses to physical exercise have been reported as predictors of the degree of engagement a personis ready to set in regular practice (Mohiyeddini, Pauli, & Bauer, 2009). According to the dual mode theory, theindividuals’ differences occurring during the exercise are due to the interplay between one’s physical abilitiesand one’s psychological characteristics (Ekkekakis, 2003) with some experiencing positively the session whileothers do not (Van Landuyt, Ekkekakis, Hall, & Petruzzello, 2000). Hence, my thesis work targeted the betterunderstanding of the effect of one of the psychological characteristics, the Tolerance to effort, on one’saffective responses during moderate physical exercise. Furthermore, I tried to reveal that a neuropsychologicaldefinition of the Tolerance to effort can be possible, even required for prescribing exercise program. Toleranceis defined as a trait that influences one’s ability to continue exercising at an imposed level of intensity even ifthe activity becomes uncomfortable or unpleasant (Ekkekakis, Hall, & Petruzzello, 2005). To date, my workhas revealed that the concept of Tolerance seems to be a valid concept in a French-speaking European sample(Study I). Interestingly, the results were revealed whatever the individuals’ self-reported weekly physicalpractice. My work also shows that the way one experiences a physical exercise depends on one’s tolerancelevel (Studies II and IV). Furthermore, the more individuals were tolerant to effort, the more they were able toproduce intense physical exercise (Studies III and IV). Interestingly, results revealed that one’s tolerance levelseems to be associated with one’s efficiency of cognitive functioning. More specifically, the more individualspossess efficient executive functions, the more they possess high level of Tolerance to effort (Study III).Finally, the positive effect of a musical distracting environment on one’s perception of physical exercisedifficulty was revealed only in high tolerant individuals (Study IV); suggesting that music may not be adaptedto all. To conclude, through the conduction of a psychometric assessment of the French-speaking version(Study I), a dual task paradigm (Study II) and a neuropsychological assessment of individuals cognitiveabilities (Study III), my thesis work has revealed that one’s tolerance level seems to be a French-speaking validconcept predicting the positive or negative affective response to physical exercise either in silence or in music(Studies II and IV) and defining one’s tolerance to effort from a cognitive standpoint.
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Mauraine Carlier. Profiling individuals for pleasurable physical exercise : the neuropsychology of tolerance of exercise intensity. Psychology. Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017LIL30039⟩. ⟨tel-02426178⟩

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