Heritability of the affective response to exercise and its correlation to exercise behavior

Nienke M. Schutte, Ineke Nederend, James J. Hudziak, Meike Bartels, Eco J.C. de Geus

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES
Individual differences in adolescent exercise behavior are strongly influenced by genetic factors. The affective response to exercise is a potential source of these genetic influences. To test its role in the motivation to exercise, we estimated the heritability of the affective responses during and after exercise and the overlap with the genetic factors influencing regular voluntary exercise behavior.
DESIGN
226 twin pairs and 38 siblings completed two submaximal exercise tests on a cycle ergometer and a treadmill and a maximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer. Affective responses were assessed by the Feeling Scale (FS), Borg's Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and the Activation-Deactivation Adjective Checklist (AD ACL).
METHODS
Multivariate structural equation modeling was used to estimate heritability of the affective responses during and after submaximal and maximal exercise and the (genetic) correlation with self-reported regular voluntary exercise behavior over the past year.
RESULTS
Genetic factors explained 15% of the individual differences in FS responses during the cycle ergometer test, as well as 29% and 35% of the individual differences in RPE during the cycle ergometer and treadmill tests, respectively. For the AD ACL scales, heritability estimates ranged from 17% to 37% after submaximal exercise and from 12% to 37% after maximal exercise. Without exception, more positive affective responses were associated with higher amounts of regular exercise activity (0.15 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-148
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Volume31
Early online date5 Dec 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Funding

We thank the members of the twin families registered with The Netherlands Twin Register for their continued support of scientific research. This work was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases under Grant number RO1DK092127 and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research under Grant number 022.003.010.

FundersFunder number
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesRO1DK092127
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek022.003.010

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