JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCE & MEDICINE
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Research article  


A COMPARISON OF THE EFFECTS OF FATIGUE ON SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT OF SITUATION AWARENESS IN CYCLING

Wade L. Knez1,2 and Daniel J. Ham1


1The University of Ballarat, School of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, Mt. Helen, Victoria, Australia.
2James Cook University, Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

Received   20 July 2005
Accepted   25 January 2006
Published   01 March 2006

Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 5, 89 - 96
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ABSTRACT
Maximal effort on a 30 km Time Trial (TT30) was examined to assess whether it would elicit changes in objective and subjective tests of the participants' perception of the environment and their ability to anticipate future occurrences (situation awareness; SA) and to determine the effect of post-exercise recovery on SA. Nine experienced (5.22 2.77 years) road cyclists had their objective and subjective levels of SA assessed prior to and at the completion of two TT30. The participants' results were compared to measurements of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), peak power output (PPO), age and years of competitive cycle racing experience. Fatigue resulting from maximal effort on a TT30 produced significant changes in both the objective and subjective test of SA. Effect sizes of 0.93 and 0.99 indicated that the first and second TT30 were likely or almost certain to have a beneficial effect on the objective assessment of SA. However, the effect sizes of 0.97 and 0.95 relating to the subjective assessment of cognitive performance on the first and second TT30 showed that it was very likely the participants' had an increased difficulty in maintaining SA. A recovery period of up to three minutes post TT30 had no effect on SA. Changes in SA had no relationship with measurements of VO2max, peak power output (PPO), age and years of competitive cycle racing experience. The findings suggest that within a laboratory environment, participants consistently underestimate their ability to make accurate assessments of their cycling environment compared to objective measures of their SA.

KEY WORDS: Endurance, cognition, psychophysiology, exhaustive exercise.


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