Are individuals who engage in more frequent self-regulation less susceptible to mental fatigue?

Posted on January 21, 2020 by

The aim of the present study was to investigate whether individuals who engage in more frequent self-regulation are less susceptible to mental fatigue?

At a glance:

  • Mental fatigue is a common occurrence that can have major consequences for physical and cognitive functioning
  • Participants who reported higher levels of occupational cognitive demand were better able to maintain endurance performance following mental exertion
  • Future research must consider the individual variation in response to mental exertion

 

Full reference and abstract:

Martin, K., Thompson, K. G., Keegan, R. & Rattray, B. (2019). Are individuals who engage in more frequent self-regulation less susceptible to mental fatigue? Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Epub ahead of print.

The aim of this study was to investigate whether individuals who engage in more frequent self- regulation are less susceptible to mental fatigue. Occupational cognitive demand and participation in sports or exercise were quantified as activities requiring self-regulation. Cardiorespiratory fitness was also assessed. On separate occasions, participants either completed 90 min of an incongruent Stroop task (mental exertion condition) or watched a 90 min documentary (control condition). Participants then completed a cycling time to exhaustion (physical endurance test). There was no difference in the mean time to exhaustion between conditions, though individual responses varied. Occupational cognitive demand, participation in sports or exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness predicted the change in endurance performance (p=0.026, adjusted R2=0.279). Only cognitive demand added significantly to the prediction (p=0.024). Participants who reported higher levels of occupational cognitive demand better maintained endurance performance following mental exertion.

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