Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Marcus Kilpatrick, PhD

Committee Member

Candi Ashley, PhD

Committee Member

Nicholas Martinez, PhD

Committee Member

Larry Collins, MPAS

Committee Member

Maureen Chiodini-Rinaldo, MPH, MEd


Affect, Enjoyment, Exertion, Graded Walking, High-Intensity Interval Training


This study investigated the effects of ungraded running and graded walking as modalities of HIIT on enjoyment, perceived exertion, and affect. 29 healthy males and females (aged 23.3 ± 5.1) volunteered to participate in the study. Participants completed six visits to the laboratory: the first was a medical screening to ensure safety of the participants. For the second and third visits, participants completed two maximal treadmill exercise tests, one running and one walking. On the fourth visit, the speed needed for the run HIIT (running speed: 6.9 ± 1.2mph) and the grade needed for the walk HIIT (walking speed: 3.3 ± 0.3mph, walking grade: 17.2 ± 3.1%) experimental trials were confirmed. During the last two visits, participants completed both of the two (run HIIT and walk HIIT) randomized and counterbalanced experimental trials. Affective valence was measured at baseline and post-exercise. The single-item Feeling Scale (FS) and the Borg 6-20 RPE scale (both overall exertion and legs-only exertion) were used to measure in-task ratings of affect and exertion. The Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES) and FS were used to measure post-exercise ratings of enjoyment and affect. Results revealed a main effect for condition for post-exercise enjoyment (p < 0.001), with the run HIIT being more enjoyable. A main effect was also found for time for both overall exertion and legs-only exertion (p < 0.001 for both interactions), with the walk HIIT producing higher exertion ratings. There was a main effect for condition of legs-only exertion (p = 0.004), again walk HIIT produced higher exertion ratings. Lastly, there was a main effect when comparing 20% and 100% of total time in the run HIIT and the walk HIIT conditions, for both overall exertion and legs-only exertion (p < 0.001 for all interactions). This shows that exertion increased over time for both conditions. Exertion ratings, both overall and legs-only tended to be highest during the run HIIT condition when compared to the walk HIIT. The opposite was true for affective valence, the ratings were higher in the run HIIT condition than the walk HIIT. In conclusion, the perceptual responses in this study, which represent enjoyment, exertion and affective valence, were generally more favorable during the run HIIT condition. These results support previous findings to suggest that doing a running protocol is a well-tolerated and favorable modality for HIIT exercise.