With the increased rate of overweight and obese youth in the United States many people began looking for ways to increase youth exercise quality and habits; one such way was by using an external distraction during exercise to increase personal motives toward exercise. This study involved 81 high school aged students enrolled in a required physical education class. Students rode an indoor cycling bike for 20 minutes while wearing a heart rate monitor. They were told to maintain a heart rate between their 70 and 79% maximum heart rate. Every 5 minutes students were asked to rate how hard they thought they were working, using a modified rating of perceived exertion scale, and how much they were enjoying the activity. At the end of each day, students were asked if they would continue to cycle if given the option. The first two days had no distraction, days 3 and 4 had class selected music playing, and days 5 and 6 had a class selected movie showing at the front of the room. There is no significant difference in heart rate or rating of perceived exertion between no distraction and adding music, but when a movie is played, both heart rate and rating of perceived exertion decrease significantly. However, a similar decrease in heart rate and rating of perceived exertion is also seen in the control group on the same days of data collection. Including a distraction while exercising has no significant effect on enjoyment of the activity or intention to persist in the activity. Females have significantly higher intrinsic motivation levels throughout the course of data collection, and males' intrinsic motivation significantly declines with each progressive condition. As the decline in heart rate and rating of perceived exertion is seen in both control and treatment groups the decline is possibly influenced by unaccounted for factors such as hard bike seats, boredom, or teacher pedagogy. These factors could potentially account for the decrease in intrinsic motivation during the last two days of data collection.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Teacher Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





physical education, music, movie, high school, self-determination, heart rate monitors