Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology


Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

First Advisor

Scott Owens

Second Advisor

John P. Bentley

Third Advisor

John C. Garner

Relational Format



Purpose: To investigate the influence of body weight, exercise modality, and pace on physiological and perceptual responses during walking. Also, to determine if the relationship between physiological and perceptual responses was altered by modality, pace, or weight status. Methods: Aerobically untrained males (n=80, 22.85 ± 3.61 years) and females (n=80, 21.18 ± 1.52 years) classified as either overweight or non-overweight participated. Individuals completed two sessions separated by 72 hours. Session 1 included familiarization, whole body DXA scan, treadmill test to exhaustion, and a 70 foot walk test to determine self selected walking speed. For session 2, participants were randomly assigned to an exercise condition for a one mile walk (track at self selected intensity, treadmill at self selected intensity, track at prescribed intensity, treadmill at prescribed intensity) while physiological, perceptual, and metabolic parameters were collected. Results: Factorial ANOVA controlling for sex shoat prescribed pace, the track increased blood lactate significantly from pre to post-exercise when compared to the treadmill. Prescribed pace produced a greater increase in blood lactate from pre to post-exercise compared to self selected pace. Prescribed pace resulted in greater increases in blood pressures, longer heart rate recovery, greater average oxygen consumption, higher average and final heart rates, and higher energy expenditure during exercise (kcal/min). Overweight individuals shohigher values for final heart rate, percentage of maximal heart rate worked, and total energy expenditure. Greater perceived effort and higher pain ratings were seen on the treadmill and at prescribed pace. The variation in RPE responses during prescribed pace was found to be significantly greater than the self selected exercise. Conclusion: A novel finding of this study was the increased physiological stress and perception of effort during prescribed pace exercise and on the treadmill while total energy expenditure shono significant differences. This could indicate an unfavorable perception and less affective response to the treadmill. With energy balance as a primary concern with overweight and obese populations, these results indicate that exercise at self selected pace in the preferred environment promotes an enjoyable experience with similar health benefits as those seen during exercise at prescribed higher intensity.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.