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Monday, June 19, 2023

URI kinesiology researchers seek participants for exercise research

Study aims to capture public’s feelings about physical activity

By Patrick Luce 

Researchers in the University of Rhode Island Department of Kinesiology are seeking participants for a research study that examines psychophysiological responses to visual stimuli portraying different types of physical activities. The study will contribute to the scientific understanding of how people feel about exercising.

The research, which has been approved by the URI Institutional Review Board, is being conducted by Assistant Professor Mark Hartman and his graduate students. They are looking to recruit healthy adults ages 18 to 45 who are fluent in English. The study involves one visit for about 45 minutes to the kinesiology lab located in Independence Square on the Kingston Campus.

Participants will be asked to view a set of images portraying different types of physical exercise, including using a treadmill, walking on a path, and lifting free weights. 

During the viewing, a small sensor will monitor their eye activity, and they will listen to sounds through headphones. Researchers will be examining the changes and movement patterns of the eye while participants view images of physical activity.

“Images are often used to study psychological responses to different stimuli. In the context of exercise, we are interested in better understanding how people think about exercise,” Hartman wrote in a study summary. 

“Humans respond to the world through changes in physiological processes, like changes in heart rate, pupil dilation, breathing rate; and psychological processes — thoughts, emotions and moods. This study aims to study the psychophysiological responses to exercise stimuli. Studying these responses will help us better understand exercise behavior.”

Anyone interested in participating is asked to complete a survey to see if they qualify. The survey takes about two to three minutes to complete. Qualified participants will be given instructions on how to schedule an appointment. Participants will receive a $20 Amazon gift card as compensation for completing the study.

Learn more about the study here.