Thursday, 18 February 2010

Exercise does not feel the same when you are overweight

This paper from 2006 is useful for several reasons. Adherence rates for those who are overweight or obese are lower than those of the general population. This paper argues that exercise does not feel the same when you are overweight. The study had female participants run on a treadmill at two speeds, a self selected speed and that speed plus 10%, referred to as the 'imposed' speed. The authors reported that 'the overweight women showed higher oxygen uptake and perceived exertion than the normal weight women during both sessions. Although the two groups did not differ in ratings of pleasure displeasure during the session at self-selected speed, only the overweight women showed a significant decline when the speed was imposed'. This article is very useful in explaining possible reasons for the different adherence rates between the general population and those who are overweight or obese. Read it in full here .

Ekkekakis, P., & Lind, E. (2005). Exercise does not feel the same when you are overweight: the impact of self-selected and imposed intensity on affect and exertion International Journal of Obesity, 30 (4), 652-660 DOI: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803052


  1. Does not feel the same mentally or physically? I'm overweight and I find that I can do a lot of excercise if I am motivated. This leads me to believe that alot of it is in my head.

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  2. Hi Scott, the study reveals that the overweight participants both had a greater oxygen uptake and a higher rate of perceived exertion, so the answer is both!