Comparison of the effects of mental fatigue induction tasks
Yang Wei1, 2, Li Jundong1, Zhao Shaocong1
1Department of Physical Education, Xiamen Institute of Technology, Xiamen 361024, Fujian Province, China; 2School of Athletic Performance, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Conducting mental fatigue research in sports depends on appropriate mental fatigue induction tasks. However, the different types and time settings for the tasks in this field have interfered with the selection and determination of the appropriate task for mental fatigue research.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of three mental fatigue tasks and their commonly used time settings for mental fatigue induction.
METHODS: In this randomized crossover study, 16 male amateur soccer players performed four tasks of 60-minute duration with an interval ≥ 48 hours in a randomized counter-balanced order: STROOP task (psychological cognition group), social media use in smartphone (electron exposure group), whole-body coordination task (exercise group) and emotionally neutral video watching as controls (control group). Before each task, the visual analogue scale (VAS)-motivation, VAS-mental fatigue, VAS-physical fatigue, and average heart rate were measured. Also, the VAS-mental fatigue, VAS-mental exertion, VAS-physical fatigue, and average heart rate were recorded every 15 minutes during the task. Repeated measures analysis of variance was mainly used for statistical analysis.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The baseline level of VAS-mental fatigue in the four groups were similar (P=0.806). (2) The VAS-mental fatigue of the psychological cognition group at 30, 45 and 60 minutes was significantly higher than that of the other three groups (all P < 0.05). The VAS-mental fatigue of psychological cognition, electron exposure, and exercise groups at 45 minutes were similar with that at 60 minutes (all P > 0.05), but significantly higher than that of pretest, 15 minutes and 30 minutes (all P < 0.05). To conclude, the psychological cognition task is superior to the electron exposure and exercise tasks for mental fatigue induction and 45 minutes is the appropriate length of time to effectively induce mental fatigue.
Key words: mental fatigue, induction task, soccer, competitive sports, psychological cognition, sports medicine