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Fiscal Year: FY 2016  Task Last Updated:  12/28/2016 
PI Name: Feltz, Deborah L. Ph.D. 
Project Title: Cyber Partners: Harnessing Group Dynamics to Boost Motivation for More Efficient Exercise 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Musculoskeletal Alterations Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Aerobic:Risk of Reduced Physical Performance Capabilities Due to Reduced Aerobic Capacity
 (2) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) A07:Develop the most efficient and effective exercise program for the maintenance of VO2 standards (IRP Rev G)
 (2) BMed01:We need to identify and validate countermeasures that promote individual behavioral health and performance during exploration class missions (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: dfeltz@msu.edu  Fax:   
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 517-355-4732  
Organization Name: Michigan State University 
PI Address 1: Department of Kinesiology 
PI Address 2: 308 W. Circle Drive 
PI Web Page:  
City: East Lansing  State: MI 
Zip Code: 48824-3711  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 06/01/2013  End Date:  07/31/2016 
No. of Post Docs: No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates: No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates: No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: 25  Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment: NOTE: End date changed to 7/31/2016 per NSBRI (Ed., 7/6/16)

NOTE: End date changed to 6/30/2016 per NSBRI (Ed., 6/29/16)

NOTE: Extended to 7/31/2016 per NSBRI (Ed., 6/16/16)

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Ploutz-Snyder, Lori   ( Universities Space Research Association, Columbia )
Winn, Brian   ( Michigan State University )
Pivarnik, James   ( Michigan State University )
Kerr, Norbert   ( Michigan State University ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-MA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Original Project Aims/Objectives: The focus of the project is to use recently documented motivation gains in task groups (dyads in particular) to heighten the exercise experience for astronauts and help keep them motivated to exercise at levels necessary to mitigate reductions in aerobic fitness and muscle loss over long space missions. A secondary focus is to determine the most effective features in exercise partners for enhancing, enjoyment, confidence, and social connectedness. Specific aims: (1) Develop software to create Software Generated (SG) exercise partners and interface with exercise equipment (cycle ergometer) similar to equipment available on the International Space Station; (2) Test various design features of an SG partner within designed exercise video games to determine the most effective features for enhancing motivation to exercise, enjoyment, confidence, and connectedness; and (3) Test whether exercising with an SG partner over a 24-weeks, compared to exercising alone, leads to better aerobic capacity and muscle strength, adherence to exercise regimen, enhanced exercise enjoyment, self-efficacy, and sense of social connectedness.

Key Findings since last report: In Year 3, we continued work on Aims 2 and 3. Aim 2 was a short-term study (6 days) to determine the most effective partners to enhance exercise intensity.

In Aim 2, we tested an SG partner in one of three modes against an individual control condition: (a) coacting mode, where the subject cycled with the SG partner but whose performance was independent of the partner (i.e., they were not teammates), (b) conjunctive-teammate mode, where scores were based on the slower performer, and (c) choice mode where subject could choose coacting mode or conjunctive teammate mode for all trials. The experiment used activity routines developed by Ploutz-Snyder that consist of (a) 30 min. of continuous aerobic exercise on a cycle ergometer at or above 75% of maximum heart rate (HR max) and (b) high-intensity interval training involving 4 repetitions of 4 min. at or above 90% HR max. In Aim 2 (Year 3), we tested an additional 38 chronic exercisers (22 female). Subjects (N = 82, 47 female; M age = 44.89, 9.45) were allowed to adjust the power output (watts) during workouts. The main outcome variable was average watts cycled above target prescribed watts. Results showed no condition main effects from baseline; however, during the 4 min. interval sessions conjunctive (Mdiff = 5.23 watts) trended toward greater exercise effort than control (Mdiff = 4.45 watts) and coactive conditions (3.46 watts). The 4 min. intervals probably represent the most motivationally demanding workout at 90% HR max. Increases in effort above target watts positively correlated with Enjoyment (r = .44), Self-efficacy (r = .51), and Team perceptions (r = .21) during the 4 min. intervals. No relationships were found with less intense continuous exercise. Although this pilot study did not find significant between group increases in performance effort, participants significantly increased their effort with our exercise video game (i.e., simulated bike paths).

In Aim 3, long-term study, we tested an SG exercise partner in one of two modes: (a) conjunctive-teammate mode and (b) conjunctive teammate who is not always superior (NAS) and is sometimes surpassed by the subject (~15% of the time), plus (c) individual control condition. We finished both cohorts of subjects (Cohort 1 = 23; 11 female; Cohort 2 = 18; 7 female). Subjects (N = 41; M age = 45.53 8.12) exercised 6 days/week for 24 weeks, using the following aerobic routines developed by Ploutz-Snyder: (a) 30 min. of continuous aerobic exercise on a stationary cycle at or above 75% HR max, (b) 4x4 min. intervals at or above 90% HR max with 3 min. active rest, (c) 6x2 min. intervals at varying intensities with 2 min. active rest, and (d) 30 sec. sprint intervals at maximal effort with 20 sec. active rest. We first tested whether the Conjunctive or NAS groups adhered more to the protocol than Controls. Conjunctive (M = 122.67) and NAS (M = 123.69) conditions averaged 15 more days completing the protocol than the Control (M = 107.00). However, group differences were not statistically different. In terms of our primary dependent measure, effort (watt increases above one's target), analyses are based on the continuous and 4-min. interval sessions. Subjects were not allowed to increase their intensity on the 2-min. intervals. Similarly, the dependent measure for the 30 sec. sprints was number of intervals completed, which all subjects completed. During Week 20 (last week with >80% of subjects remaining), NAS subjects increased their effort more (M = 8.9 watts) compared to Controls (M = 1.5 watts; d = 0.37) and Conjunctive subjects (M = 3.9 watts) on the 4-min. interval workout. Throughout the duration of the study, NAS subjects always outperformed Controls on the 4-min. intervals. All groups had large significant increases in VO2max from baseline (M = 34) to midpoint (M = 39), then values leveled off from midpoint to final (M = 38). Social connectedness rose significantly from midpoint (M = 2.96) to final (M = 3.48), and those with an SG partner increased their teams' perceptions from midpoint (M = 3.39) to final (M = 4.22). Subjects in NAS (M = 7.85) and Conjunctive conditions (M = 7.26) had higher self-efficacy beliefs than Controls (M = 6.86 2.83) after 1 week with the SG partner. Enjoyment remained stable, above response scale midpoint, across 24 weeks.

Impact of Key Findings: Aim 3: The findings in Aim 3 suggest that having an SG partner, where the subject can intermittently be superior (~15% of time in NAS condition) is most motivating in the most demanding 4-min interval workouts.

Proposed Research Plan for Coming Year: We will prepare manuscripts to submit to journals and present results at professional conferences.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Exercising for purely personal concerns (for improving health, losing weight, physical rehabilitation, etc.) can be a powerful motivator to continue exercise and to exercise at intensity levels high enough to realize greater health benefits, but interpersonal and social concerns (for comparing favorably with others or for not letting a partner down) have the potential to add equally powerful new sources of motivation. These sources of motivation could open up a powerful set of new tools in exercise video game design for fitness especially for those with social physique anxiety, those who lack the time and/or resources to join an exercise group, and those in exercise rehabilitation therapies. Although current commercial exercise video games have been shown to have some health benefit in terms of increased caloric expenditure and cardiorespiratory endurance, few games have been based on theoretical knowledge of exercise motivation. Moreover, none of the extant exercise games (e.g., Wii Fit, PS-2's EyeToy: Kinetic) incorporate the critical design features suggested by contemporary social psychological research, particularly research on motivation gains in task groups (viz., immediate feedback on performance of one or more other players, the ability to control the discrepancy in abilities of players, and most importantly, the indispensability of individual player effort for determining team outcomes). Thus, our research has the potential for Earth-based commercial applications to build more engaging and enjoyable exercise video games for various populations.

 

Task Progress: The major emphasis in Year 3 was to complete our 24-week study (Aim 3). We have now collected and analyzed data on both cohorts of subjects (N = 41; 18 female). The first cohort included 11 women, 12 men (M age = 46.74; ± = 6.98). The second cohort included 7 women, 11 men (M age = 44.17; 9.31). We strived for equal numbers of males and females, but in any case, insured proportional numbers of males and females in each condition. Subjects were similar in age (M = 45.53 8.12) and aerobic fitness (M = 33.77 6.15) to experienced astronauts. Subjects in Cohort 1 finished their training program in June 2015. Cohort 2 started between August and November, 2015 and finished between February and May, 2016. Baseline, midpoint, and post-test fitness data have been collected and analyzed as well as measures of enjoyment, self-efficacy, social connectedness, and perceived team perceptions.

We began our long-term study (Aim 3) before finishing our short-term, 6-day study (Aim 2) in order to stay on schedule.

In Year 3, also we finished Study 1 (Aim 2) to provide a larger sample comparing the 30 min. continuous cycling (at 75% VO2 max) and high-intensity interval cycling involving 4 repetitions of 4 min. (at 90% VO2 max) under SG partner/no partner conditions. We tested an additional 38 chronic exercisers (22 female). Total subjects were 86 (47 female; M age = 44.89, 9.45). We have presented our preliminary findings for both studies at regional, national, and international conferences. We have begun drafting manuscripts to submit to various research journals and conducting more fine-grained analyses.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/09/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Lemmen N, Kelbel M, Sutherland M. (Faculty Mentors: Hill, C.R., Samendinger, S. & Feltz, D.L.) "Self-efficacy over 3 months of intense exercise with a virtual partner." Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI., April 8, 2016.

Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, 2016. P166: http://urca.msu.edu/forums/uuraf-2016 , Apr-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Ede A, Hill CR, Winn B, Pivarnik JM, Kerr NL, Jeffery W, Deere SJ, Spencer B, Ploutz-Snyder L, Feltz DL. "Cyber Partners for Astronauts: Boosting Motivation to Exercise Harder with Exergames." North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2015 Conference, Portland, OR, June 2015.

Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2015;37(S111). , Jun-2015

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Feltz DL. "The Köhler Effect: From Jocks to Smocks to Astronauts." North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2016 Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 15-18, 2016.

Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2016 Jun;38(Suppl). http://naspspa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2016-NASPSPA-Abstract-Supplement-6-13-16.pdf , Jun-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Feltz DL, Ede A, Winn B, Samendinger S, Jeffery W, Lawrence F, Pivarnik JM, Ploutz-Snyder L. "Cyber Partners in Exergames: Boosting Motivation to Maintain Intense Exercise." 2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016.

2016 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 8-11, 2016. , Feb-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Higbee A, Woods A, Rabaut A. (Faculty Mentors: Hill, C.R., Samendinger, S., & Feltz, D.L.) "The role of gender influence on ratings of exercise exertion." Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI, April 8, 2016.

Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum. P 170: http://urca.msu.edu/forums/uuraf-2016 , Apr-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Hill CR, Ede A, Samendinger S, Winn B, Pivarnik JM, Ploutz-Synder L, Feltz DL. "Can a Virtual Partner be a Real Teammate? Group and Team Perceptions in an Exergame Intervention." North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2016 Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 15-18, 2016.

Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2016 Jun;38 (Suppl). http://naspspa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2016-NASPSPA-Abstract-Supplement-6-13-16.pdf , Jun-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Samendinger S, Ede A, Hill CR, Winn B, Pivarnik JM, Kerr NL, Max EJ, Ploutz-Synder L, Feltz DL. "Cyber Partners for Long-Term Space Missions: Boosting Motivation to Maintain Intense Exercise." North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2016 Conference, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 15-18, 2016.

Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2016 Jun;38 (Suppl). http://naspspa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2016-NASPSPA-Abstract-Supplement-6-13-16.pdf , Jun-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Samendinger S, Hill CR, Winn B, Ede A, Kerr NL, Pivarnik JM, Ploutz-Snyder L, Feltz DL. "Attitudes toward software-generated exercise partners during high-intensity training." International Conference on Meaningful Play, East Lansing, MI, October 20-22, 2016.

International Conference on Meaningful Play, 2016. http://meaningfulplay.msu.edu/program.php?presentation=79&type=paper , Sep-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Schneider A, Smith AB. (Faculty Mentors: Hill C.R., Feltz D.L., Pivarnik J.M., & Triplett A.N.) "Changes in VO2max over a 24-week cycle ergometer interval program." Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experience (Mid-SURE), East Lansing, MI, July 27, 2016.

Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experience (Mid-SURE), 2016. , Jul-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Smith AB, Schneider AM. (Faculty Mentors: Triplett, A.N., Hill, C.R., Deere, S.J., Pivarnik, J.M., & Feltz, D.L.) "Changes in VO2max Over a 24-Week Cycle Ergometer Interval Program." Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI., April 8, 2016.

Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, 2016. P171: http://urca.msu.edu/forums/uuraf-2016 , Apr-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Smith AB, Schneider AM. (Faculty Mentors: Hill, C.R., Feltz, D.L., Pivarnik, J.M., & Triplett, A.N.) "Changes in muscular strength over a 24-week cycle ergometer interval program among physically active middle-age adults." Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences (Mid-SURE), East Lansing, MI, July 27, 2016.

Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences (Mid-SURE) 2016. , Jul-2016

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Smith AB, Triplett AN, Hill CR, Deere SJ, Pivarnik JM, Ploutz-Synder L, Feltz DL. "Changes in Muscular Strength Over a 24-Week Cycle Ergometer Intervention." American College of Sports Medicine 63rd Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, May 31-June 4, 2016.

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2016 May;48(5 Suppl 1):709. http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000487130.90073.80 , May-2016

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Feltz DL, Ploutz-Snyder L, Winn B, Kerr NL, Pivarnik JM, Ede A, Hill C, Samendinger S, Jeffery W. "Simulated Partners and Collaborative Exercise (SPACE) to boost motivation for astronauts: Study protocol." BMC Psychol. 2016 Nov 14;4(1):54. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40359-016-0165-9 ; PubMed PMID: 27842603; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5109642 , Nov-2016
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Lee S, Myers ND, Park T, Hill CR, Feltz DL. "An exploratory study on the Köhler effect and flow in long-term exergaming." Simulation & Gaming. 2018 Oct;49(5):538-52. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046878118776043 (reported originally December 2016 as "First Published 21 May 2018.") , Oct-2018
Awards Feltz D. "Distinguished Scholar Award, June 2015." Jun-2015
Significant Media Coverage Orlov A. "Interview of Deborah Feltz for editorial website, 'Are Virtual Workout Buddies the Future of Fitness?' " Daily Burn's editorial website by Alexandra Orlov, January 11, 2016. http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/virtual-fitness-buddy-benefits/ ; accessed 12/30/16., Jan-2016
Significant Media Coverage DuHadway K. "Deborah Feltz interviewed for newspaper story, ‘Train like an astronaut’ at MSU.' " Lansing State Journal, October 5, 2015. http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/2015/10/05/train-like-astronaut-msu/73233926 ; accessed 12/30/16., Oct-2015
Significant Media Coverage Gruber S. "Deborah Feltz interviewed on Steve Gruber radio show, WJIM, Lansing, MI." Steve Gruber Show, WJIM, Lansing, MI, October 7, 2015: 1240 WJIM. http://www.stevegruber.com/radio/ , Oct-2015
Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2015  Task Last Updated:  07/07/2015 
PI Name: Feltz, Deborah L. Ph.D. 
Project Title: Cyber Partners: Harnessing Group Dynamics to Boost Motivation for More Efficient Exercise 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Musculoskeletal Alterations Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Aerobic:Risk of Reduced Physical Performance Capabilities Due to Reduced Aerobic Capacity
 (2) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) A07:Develop the most efficient and effective exercise program for the maintenance of VO2 standards (IRP Rev G)
 (2) BMed01:We need to identify and validate countermeasures that promote individual behavioral health and performance during exploration class missions (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: dfeltz@msu.edu  Fax:   
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 517-355-4732  
Organization Name: Michigan State University 
PI Address 1: Department of Kinesiology 
PI Address 2: 308 W. Circle Drive 
PI Web Page:  
City: East Lansing  State: MI 
Zip Code: 48824-3711  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 06/01/2013  End Date:  07/31/2016 
No. of Post Docs: No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates: No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates: No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: 45  Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment: NOTE: End date changed to 7/31/2016 per NSBRI (Ed., 7/6/16)

NOTE: End date changed to 6/30/2016 per NSBRI (Ed., 6/29/16)

NOTE: Extended to 7/31/2016 per NSBRI (Ed., 6/16/16)

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Ploutz-Snyder, Lori   ( Universities Space Research Association, Columbia )
Winn, Brian   ( Michigan State University )
Pivarnik, James   ( Michigan State University )
Kerr, Norbert   ( Michigan State University ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-MA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Original Project Aims/Objectives: The focus of the proposed research is to use recently documented motivation gains in task groups (dyads in particular) to heighten the exercise experience for astronauts and help keep them motivated to exercise at levels necessary to reduce loss of aerobic fitness and muscle over long space missions. A secondary focus is to determine the most effective features in exercise partners for enhancing, enjoyment, confidence, and social connectedness. The specific aims of the proposed project are to: (1) Develop software to create Software Generated (SG) exercise partners and interface with exercise equipment (stationary bike) similar to what is available on the International Space Station (ISS); (2) Test various design features of the SG partner within designed exercise video games to determine the most effective features for enhancing motivation to exercise, enjoyment, confidence, and connectedness; and (3) Test whether exercising with an SG partner over a 24-week time period, compared to exercising alone, leads to better aerobic capacity and muscle strength, adherence to the exercise regimen, and enhanced enjoyment in the activity, self-efficacy, and sense of social connectedness.

Key Findings since last report: In Year 2, we worked on Aims 2 and 3, first testing various design features of the SG partner in an exercise video game: Train Like an Astronaut.

Aim 2 was a short-term study (6 days) to determine the most effective partners to enhance exercise intensity. In Aim 2, we tested an SG exercise partner in one of three modes: (a) a coacting mode, where the subject cycled with the SG partner but whose performance was independent of the SG partner (i.e., they are not teammates), (b) a conjunctive-teammate mode, where scores were based on the slower/weaker performer, and (c) a choice mode that had the option for the participant to choose coacting mode or conjunctive teammate mode for all trials. We tested these modes against an individual control condition. The experiment used the activity routines developed by Ploutz-Snyder that consist of (a) 30 min. of continuous aerobic exercise on a stationary bike at or above 75% of maximum heart rate and (b) high-intensity interval training involving several repetitions of 4 min. at or above 90% maximum heart rate. Thus far in Aim 2, we have tested 19 male and 25 female chronic exercisers ages 30-62 yrs (M = 49.31; ± = 7.77). Subjects were allowed to change intensity (in watts) during each workout, and effort was measured by average watts cycled. Subjects in all conditions increased watts significantly from baseline, but the conjunctive condition (M = 7.47 ± 8.40) trended toward a greater increase compared to the control (M = 5.66 ± 9.11). Thus, with the small sample tested so far, exercising with a conjunctive partner showed a small effect (d = .20) over exercising alone. By end of 6 days, increases in effort above target watts were positively correlated with Enjoyment (r = .47), Self-efficacy (r = .49), and Feelings toward partner (r = .36). Although testing is not finished in the short-term study, there was enough evidence to design the long-term study (Aim 3). Feedback from subjects revealed that they wanted more varied scenery, that an interactive dialogue with the partner during the introduction phase would help in making a social connection, that subjects should match the virtual partner longer during exercise sessions, and that the conjunctive task demand should be more obvious.

In Aim 3, we added more social interactions throughout the sessions, more varied scenery, a longer time where the subject could lessen the gap between him/her and the SG partner, and we added a catch-up and surpass condition. We also added features that made the conjunctive task demand more obvious to the subject. Thus, in the Aim 3 long-term study, we are testing an SG exercise partner in one of two modes: (a) a conjunctive-teammate mode, where scores were based on the slower/weaker performer, and (b) a conjunctive teammate who is sometimes surpassed by the subject, plus an individual control condition. The first cohort of subjects (N = 23; 11 women, 12 men) started in January, 2015 (M age = 46.74; ± = 6.98). Baseline fitness measures of aerobic capacity, body fat, and thigh strength were obtained. Subjects exercise 6 days per week, using the complete aerobic routines developed by Ploutz-Snyder that consist of (a) 30 min. of continuous aerobic exercise on a stationary cycle at or above 75% of maximum heart rate, (b) 4 x 4 min. intervals at or above 90% maximum heart rate with 3 minutes active rest, (c) 6 x 2 minute intervals at varying intensities with 2 minutes active rest, and (d) 30 sec. sprint intervals at maximal effort with 20 seconds active rest. Subjects are in Week 15 of the 24-week testing period. Thus far, one participant in the control condition (female), dropped out at Week 3. We do not have performance or physiological data for Aim 3, as yet. However, initial data on team perceptions and feelings toward one's SG partner indicate that when subjects feel a connection to the partner, they identify more as a team (r = .56) and have more confidence in their partners to help them achieve their own goals (r = .32).

Impact of Key Findings on Hypotheses, Technology Requirements, Objectives, and Specific Aims: Aim 2: The preliminary findings in Aim 2 provided the basis to continue building on the conjunctive task condition, enhance the design effects of the training game, and make the dialogue with the SG partner more interactive.

Proposed Research Plan for the Coming Year: In Year 3, we will continue to pursue Aim 3 with a second cohort, using the same research and training design. Because of summer vacations, we most likely will need to stagger the start dates for subjects, and thus, will not try to change any design aspects of the study.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Exercising for purely personal concerns (for improving health, losing weight, physical rehabilitation, etc.) can be a powerful motivator to continue exercise and to exercise at intensity levels high enough to realize greater health benefits, but interpersonal and social concerns (for comparing favorably with others or for not letting a partner down) have the potential to add equally powerful new sources of motivation. These sources of motivation could open up a powerful set of new tools in exercise video game design for fitness especially for those with social physique anxiety, those who lack the time and/or resources to join an exercise group, and those in exercise rehabilitation therapies. Although current commercial exercise video games have been shown to have some health benefit in terms of increased caloric expenditure and cardiorespiratory endurance, few games have been based on theoretical knowledge of exercise motivation. Moreover, none of the extant exercise games (e.g., Wii Fit, PS-2's EyeToy: Kinetic) incorporate the critical design features suggested by contemporary social psychological research, particularly research on motivation gains in task groups (viz., immediate feedback on performance of one or more other players, the ability to control the discrepancy in abilities of players, and most importantly, the indispensability of individual player effort for determining team outcomes). Thus, our research has the potential for Earth-based commercial applications to build more engaging and enjoyable exercise video games for various populations.

 

Task Progress: The major emphasis in Year 2 was first to conduct Study 1, a 6-day pilot study (Aim 2), using our Train Like an Astronaut exergame. Second, we used information from Study 1 to further develop the game software, software-generated partners, software-generated trainers, and partner communications for Study 2, a 24-week study (Aim 3). Third, we are conducting Study 2 with the first cohort of subjects. Study 1 involved two aerobic training routines in our exergame: (a) 30 min. of continuous aerobic exercise on a stationary bike at 75% VO2 max, and (b) high-intensity interval training involving 4 repetitions of 4 min. at 90% VO2 max with 3 min. active rest between intervals.

We have collected and analyzed data on 44 subjects (female = 25) in Study 1. We surpassed the number of women we hoped to recruit to the study, and subjects were similar in age (M = 49.31; SD = 7.77) and aerobic fitness to experienced astronauts. We were not able to recruit as many subjects as we wanted before our deadline for starting Study 2 (Aim 3), but had enough data and feedback from subjects to design the long-term study (Study 2).

For Study 2, we varied the scenery of the bike paths, added interactive dialogue with the partner in the introduction phase, allowed the subject to match the partner's exercise intensity for longer periods of time during sessions, and made the connection between subject and partner more obvious. Study 2 involved two additional high intensity training routines in our exergame: (a) 8 repetitions of 30 s sprints and (b) 6 repetitions of 2-min. each in a ladder fashion of 70, 80, 90, 100, 90, 80% VO2max intervals. High intensity sessions are alternated with 30 min. of continuous aerobic sessions for 6 days per week of training for the 24-week study. Study 2 data collection began in January, 2015, with a cohort of 23 subjects (female = 11, including one dropout). Subjects are similar in age (M = 46.74; ± = 6.95) and aerobic fitness to experienced astronauts. Baseline and midway fitness data have been collected as well as measures of enjoyment, self-efficacy, perceived autonomy, and social connectedness. We are a little more than halfway through data collection for this first cohort and expect to have the second cohort going by July.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/09/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Winn B, Jeffery W, Durand-Hollis X, Kozma G, Ward D, Pivarnik JM, Kerr NL, Ede A, Samendinger S, Ploutz-Snyder L, Feltz DL. "Train like an astronaut." International Conference on Meaningful Play, East Lansing, MI, Octobre 16-18, 2014.

International Conference on Meaningful Play, East Lansing, MI, Octobre 16-18, 2014. http://meaningfulplay.msu.edu/program.php ; accessed 7/7/15. , Oct-2014

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Bouchard D, Glaab B, Schulte S; Mentors: Ede A, Hill CR, Feltz DL. "Can you achieve fitness goals with a game?" Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI, April 10, 2015.

Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI, April 10, 2015. , Apr-2015

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Feltz DL, Ede A, Winn B, Pivarnik JM, Kerr NL, Jeffery W, Deere S, Samendinger S, Max EJ, Hill CR, Ploutz-Snyder L. "Cyber Partners in Exergames: Boosting Motivation to Exercise Harder." 2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015.

2015 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, January 13-15, 2015. , Jan-2015

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Rabaut A, Curl R, Mossbarger A; Mentors: Ede A, Hill CR, Feltz DL. "Feeling like a team: Confidence in a partner to help with exercise goals in a video game." Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI, April 10, 2015.

Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI, April 10, 2015. , Apr-2015

Significant Media Coverage Feltz DL. "Faculty Testimonial by Dr. Deborah Feltz for ResearchMatch. Overview of the study was highlighted on MSU ResearchMatch." Michigan State University Clinical & Translational Institute online ResearchMatch, February 2015. https://ctsi.msu.edu/research-highlights/faculty-testimonial-dr-deborah-feltz-researchmatch ; accessed 7/7/15., Feb-2015
Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2014  Task Last Updated:  06/06/2014 
PI Name: Feltz, Deborah L. Ph.D. 
Project Title: Cyber Partners: Harnessing Group Dynamics to Boost Motivation for More Efficient Exercise 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Musculoskeletal Alterations Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Aerobic:Risk of Reduced Physical Performance Capabilities Due to Reduced Aerobic Capacity
 (2) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) A07:Develop the most efficient and effective exercise program for the maintenance of VO2 standards (IRP Rev G)
 (2) BMed01:We need to identify and validate countermeasures that promote individual behavioral health and performance during exploration class missions (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: dfeltz@msu.edu  Fax:   
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 517-355-4732  
Organization Name: Michigan State University 
PI Address 1: Department of Kinesiology 
PI Address 2: 308 W. Circle Drive 
PI Web Page:  
City: East Lansing  State: MI 
Zip Code: 48824-3711  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 06/01/2013  End Date:  05/31/2016 
No. of Post Docs: No. of PhD Degrees: 
No. of PhD Candidates: No. of Master' Degrees: 
No. of Master's Candidates: No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment:

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Ploutz-Snyder, Lori   ( Universities Space Research Association, Columbia )
Winn, Brian   ( Michigan State University )
Pivarnik, James   ( Michigan State University )
Kerr, Norbert   ( Michigan State University ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-MA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Original Project Aims/Objectives: The focus of the proposed research is to use recently documented motivation gains in task groups (dyads in particular) to heighten the exercise experience for astronauts and help keep them motivated to exercise at levels necessary to reduce loss of aerobic fitness and muscle over long space missions. A secondary focus is to determine the most effective features in exercise partners for enhancing, enjoyment, confidence, and social connectedness. The specific aims of the proposed project are to: (1) Develop software to create Software Generated (SG) exercise partners and interface with exercise equipment (stationary bike) similar to what is available on the International Space Station; (2) Test various design features of the SG partner within designed exercise video games to determine the most effective features for enhancing motivation to exercise, enjoyment, confidence, and connectedness; and (3) Test whether exercising with an SG partner over 24-week time period, compared to exercising alone, leads to better aerobic capacity and muscle strength, adherence to the exercise regimen, and enhanced enjoyment in the activity, self-efficacy, and sense of social connectedness.

Key Findings: We have completed Aim 1 (developing SG exercise partners, interfaced with stationary bikes) to be used in Aim 2. We first demonstrated the software to a small group of astronauts and physical trainers at the Johnson Space Center to help refine the look of the SG partner and then conducted focus groups of highly active male and female athletes/exercisers over 35 years of age to further refine the appearance of the SG partners, the appearance of the exergame interface, and the nature and quality of interactions between participants and their SG partners (e.g., detail of introductions, greetings). Results showed that focus group participants desired a virtual partner who appeared to be fit but not overly muscular and were dressed age-appropriately. Females preferred partners who had muscle tone yet remained feminine while males indicated they wanted a partner who was both a peer and in appropriate shape for the task. Both males and females wanted the option of choosing their SG partner. Males focused on choosing a partner based on the specific workout while females focused on gender, ethnicity, and age. Lastly, in terms of the game interface, both genders preferred realistic scenery that matched the task to be completed (i.e., for a long, continuous bike ride participants preferred outdoor scenery and sounds vs. a track or velodrome simulation for interval training cycling). After conducting focus groups, the games were pilot tested on a convenience sample of eight highly active university students who played the game (i.e., rode a stationary bike on a simulated bike path) for 30 min. each day for 6 days. The first day was without the game and Days 2 – 6 were with the game. Watts (units for cycle power output) was the dependent measure of intensity. Preliminary results showed that participants put forth more effort when they cycled with an exercise video game on Days 2-6 than they did cycling alone without a game. Further, the Watts in the game environment stayed consistently higher.

Impact of Key Findings on Hypotheses, Technology Requirements, Objectives, and Specific Aims: We had no hypotheses for Aim 1. However, our focus group findings suggest that participants want SG partners who look more like themselves. Our pilot work suggests that riding a stationary bike on simulated bike path results in more effort than riding without the simulation.

Proposed Research Plan for the Coming Year: In Year 2, we will pursue Aims 2 and 3, first testing various design features of the SG partner in a short-term study (6 days) to determine the most effective partners to enhance exercise intensity. We will present an SG exercise partner in one of three modes: (a) a coacting mode, where the subject cycles with the SG partner but whose performance is independent of the SG partner (i.e., they are not teammates); (b) a conjunctive-teammate mode, where scores are based on the slower/weaker performer; and (c) a choice mode that has the option for the participant to choose coacting mode or conjunctive teammate mode for all trials. The experiment will use the aerobic routines developed by Ploutz-Snyder that consist of (a) 30 min. of continuous aerobic exercise on a stationary cycle at 75% heart rate max and (b) high-intensity interval training involving several repetitions of 4 min. at 90% heart rate max. Based on findings from the short-term study, we will design the long-term study to test how well the motivation gains we expect to find will persist across a 24-week period using a combination of the 30 min. continuous and various interval routines.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: Exercising for purely personal concerns (for improving health, losing weight, physical rehabilitation, etc.) can be a powerful motivator to continue exercise and to exercise at intensity levels high enough to realize greater health benefits, but interpersonal and social concerns (for comparing favorably with others or for not letting a partner down) have the potential to add equally powerful new sources of motivation. These sources of motivation could open up a powerful set of new tools in exercise video game design for fitness especially for those with social physique anxiety, those who lack the time and/or resources to join an exercise group, and those in exercise rehabilitation therapies. Although current commercial exercise video games have been shown to have some health benefit in terms of increased caloric expenditure and cardiorespiratory endurance, few games have been based on theoretical knowledge of exercise motivation. Moreover, none of the extant exercise games (e.g., Wii Fit, PS-2's EyeToy: Kinetic) incorporate the critical design features suggested by contemporary social psychological research, particularly research on motivation gains in task groups (viz., immediate feedback on performance of one or more other players, the ability to control the discrepancy in abilities of players, and most importantly, the indispensability of individual player effort for determining team outcomes). Thus, our research has the potential for earth-based commercial applications to build more engaging and enjoyable exercise video games for various populations.

 

Task Progress: The major emphasis during Year 1 involved the development of the software to create a computerized version of a more capable exercise partner for stationary cycling training in two different modes: coaction or no interdependence and teammate or interdependent mode. First, male and female software-generated (SG) partners were developed to portray them as physically fit and roughly the mean age (48 years) of a long-duration crew member. The SG models were textured, rigged (i.e., attaching a skeleton system to a model), and animated to create life-like male and female humanoid characters. Male and female versions of the SG partner were demonstrated to a small group of astronauts and physical trainers at the Johnson Space Center to help refine their appearance and obtain ideas for the appearance of the stationary cycling exergame interface (i.e., a scenic bike trail, a velodrome track). Next, a second version of the SG partners was developed based on conversations with astronauts and Johnson Space Center trainers and exergame interfaces were developed to test with focus groups of highly active male and female athletes/exercisers over 35 years of age. Same-gendered focus groups viewed different versions of SG partners, the appearance of the exergame interface, and the nature and quality of interactions between participants and their SG partners (e.g., detail of introductions, greetings). Once the appearance, interactions of the SG partners, and appearance of the exergame were finalized, the custom software was designed to interfaced with a cycle ergometer (Monark LC4 stationary bike), as the cycle did not support a standard protocol such as ANT+. Originally, our software was designed to have the resistance of the bike fixed and use RPM as the dependent variation. However, we discovered that the resistance on the Monark LC4 bike could not be adjusted directly, rather Watts could be set and the bike auto-adjusted the resistance based on the current RPM. Adjustments were made using our software so that Watts were used as the dependent variable of intensity, where the participant can manually increase Watts via a keypad attached to the stationary cycle to keep up with the SG partner in the exergame. Two exergames were developed based on Ploutz-Snyder's aerobic training routines: (a) 30 min. of continuous aerobic exercise on a stationary cycle at 75% heart rate max and (b) high-intensity interval training involving several repetitions of 4 min. at 90% heart rate max. The exergames were pilot tested on a convenience sample of eight highly active university students who played the game (i.e., rode a stationary cycle on a simulated bike path) for 30 min. each day for 6 days. The first day was without the game and Days 2 – 6 were with the game. Watts was the dependent measure of intensity. The exergames are now ready for Study 1 (in Aim 2) and testing has begun.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/09/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Feltz DL, Winn B, Pivarnik JM, Kerr NL, Ede A, Samendinger S, Forlenza ST, Max EJ. "Cyber partners: harnessing group dynamics to boost motivation for more efficient exercise." 2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014.

2014 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-13, 2014. http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/hrp2014/pdf/3010.pdf , Feb-2014

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Pilarski HM, Sterk EE, Dissanayake PW; Mentors: Ede A, Feltz DL. "Comparison of Subjective and Objective Measures of Exertion During a Stationary Bicycling Exergame." Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI, April 4, 2014.

Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, April 2014. http://urca.msu.edu/uuraf/ , Apr-2014

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Ribaudo C, Bade M; Mentors: Ede A, Feltz DL. "Partner and environment characteristics: Preferences in an Exergame Designed to Enhance Motivation." Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, East Lansing, MI, April 4, 2014.

Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Michigan State University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum, April 2014. , Apr-2014

Significant Media Coverage McGlashen A, Feltz DL. "Fueling fitness on the final frontier. Article about PI's NASA research." Michigan State University Today, Press Release, May 21, 2013. http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/fueling-fitness-on-the-final-frontier/ , May-2013
Significant Media Coverage Feltz DL. Interviewee. "MSU studying ways to keep astronauts fit in deep space. Interview." Interview on WKAR (Michigan State University), June 7, 2013. http://wkar.org/post/msu-studying-ways-keep-astronauts-fit-deep-space , Jun-2013
Significant Media Coverage Khalil J. "MSU Gets $2.4 Million from NASA for Mars Project. PI interviewed about NASA research." Interview on WLNS TV, Lansing, MI, June 17, 2013., Jun-2013
Download in PDF pdf     
Fiscal Year: FY 2013  Task Last Updated:  02/05/2014 
PI Name: Feltz, Deborah L. Ph.D. 
Project Title: Cyber Partners: Harnessing Group Dynamics to Boost Motivation for More Efficient Exercise 
   
Division Name: Human Research 
Program/Discipline--
Element/Subdiscipline:
NSBRI--Musculoskeletal Alterations Team 
 
Joint Agency Name:   TechPort:  Yes 
Human Research Program Elements: (1) BHP:Behavioral Health & Performance
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Aerobic:Risk of Reduced Physical Performance Capabilities Due to Reduced Aerobic Capacity
 (2) Bmed:Risk of Adverse Behavioral Conditions and Psychiatric Disorders
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) A07:Develop the most efficient and effective exercise program for the maintenance of VO2 standards (IRP Rev G)
 (2) BMed01:We need to identify and validate countermeasures that promote individual behavioral health and performance during exploration class missions (IRP Rev F)
Space Biology Element: None
Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline: None
Space Biology Special Category: None
PI Email: dfeltz@msu.edu  Fax:   
PI Organization Type: UNIVERSITY  Phone: 517-355-4732  
Organization Name: Michigan State University 
PI Address 1: Department of Kinesiology 
PI Address 2: 308 W. Circle Drive 
PI Web Page:  
City: East Lansing  State: MI 
Zip Code: 48824-3711  Congressional District: 
Comments:  
Project Type: GROUND  Solicitation:  2012 Crew Health NNJ12ZSA002N 
Start Date: 06/01/2013  End Date:  05/30/2016 
No. of Post Docs:   No. of PhD Degrees:   
No. of PhD Candidates:   No. of Master' Degrees:   
No. of Master's Candidates:   No. of Bachelor's Degrees:   
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:   Monitoring Center:  NSBRI 
Contact Monitor:   Contact Phone:   
Contact Email:  
Flight Program:  
Flight Assignment:

 

Key Personnel Changes/Previous PI:  
COI Name (Institution): Kerr, Norbert   ( Michigan State University )
Pivarnik, James   ( Michigan State University )
Ploutz-Snyder, Lori   ( Universities Space Research Association )
Winn, Brian   ( Self ) 
Grant/Contract No.: NCC 9-58-MA03401 
Performance Goal No.:  
Performance Goal Text:

 

Task Description: Astronauts may have difficulty adhering to exercise regimens at vigorous intensity levels during long space missions. Keeping up with exercise prescriptions is important for aerobic and musculoskeletal health during space missions and afterwards. A key impediment to maintaining intense levels of exercise is motivation. However, finding ways to motivate astronauts to be physically active at the levels necessary to lessen the effects of bone and muscle loss and aerobic capacity has not been explored. Typically individuals become bored with training regimens over time or find them less enjoyable if they do not have strategies to maintain their motivation. Although traditional group exercise leads to higher exercise adherence than individual exercise programs, structured group exercise programs are not possible for astronauts during space missions. Moreover, prior models of group exercise have rarely if ever introduced any real interdependence between exercisers, which have been shown to be powerful motivators for continued effort. Exercise video games have been marketed as a way to increase people’s motivation and enjoyment to exercise by being entertaining, engaging and providing a means by which to interact with other players. Although many exercise games involve competition among players, few take advantage of group dynamics to motivate play and there has been little attempt to analyze what game features and interpersonal interactions would best motivate users to continue exercising with these games. Using individuals closely matched in age and fitness to current astronauts, our research is designed to determine whether recently documented motivation gains in task groups (dyads in particular) can be harnessed to improve motivation in interactive exercise games using virtual, software-generated (SG) partners. Exercising with an SG partner offers a number of advantages (e.g., availability, flexibility, autonomy) over a live human partner.

The specific aims of the proposed project are to 1) Develop the software to create SG exercise partners to interface with the exercise equipment; 2) Test various design features of the SG partner within designed exercise games to determine the most effective features for enhancing motivation to exercise, enjoyment, confidence, and social connectedness; and 3) Test whether exercising over an extended time period with an SG partner, compared to exercising alone, results in better aerobic capacity and muscle strength, adherence to the exercise regimen, and enhanced enjoyment in the activity, maintenance efficacy beliefs, and sense of social connectedness.

 

Rationale for HRP Directed Research:

 

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

 

Task Progress: New project for FY2013.

 

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 04/09/2019) Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing