Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 406 - 416   DOI:

Research article
Maximal and Submaximal Intensity Isometric Knee Extensions Induce an Underestimation of Time Estimates with Both Younger And Older Adults: A Randomized Crossover Trial
Andrew Paul Graham1, Hayley Gardner1, Helmi Chaabene2, Scott Talpey3, Shahab Alizadeh1,4, David G. Behm1, 
Author Information
1 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
2 Sport and Health Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam Germany
3 Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Federation University Australia at Ballarat, Australia
4 Department of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

David G. Behm
✉ School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Publish Date
Received: 18-05-2023
Accepted: 23-06-2023
Published (online): 01-09-2023

Our perception of time plays a critical role in nearly all daily activities and especially in sports. There are no studies that have investigated and compared time perception during exercise in young and older adults. Thus, this study aimed to compare the effects of exercise on time perception between younger and older adult populations. Thirty-three recreationally active participants were recruited and assigned to either the younger (university students, 9 males and 10 females) or older adults (>60 years, 8 males and 6 females). All participants completed four exercise conditions over two sessions on separate days: approximately 30-seconds of knee extensors 100%, 60% and 10% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), and control (no contractions). Prospective time perception was estimated (at 5-, 10-, 20-, and 30-seconds) at the beginning of each session and while performing the exercise. A main effect for condition (p < 0.001, d = 1.06) with subsequent post-hoc tests indicated participants significantly underestimated (estimated time was shorter than chronological time) time in all three exercise conditions compared to the control. There were no significant age group differences. In conclusion, exercise underestimated time estimates regardless of intensity or age. This questions the postulated intensity-dependent relationship between exercise and time perception. While older adults were expected to be less accurate in their time estimates, they may have been able to adopt alternative strategies for age-related changes in their internal clock, resulting in no significant age group differences.

Key words: Elderly, time perception, exercise, ageing, prospective time

           Key Points
  • Participants underestimated time when performing unilateral (dominant leg) isometric knee extension contractions compared to the control condition.
  • Participants underestimated time more at 30-seconds in the 60% MVIC condition compared to 10% MVIC, which partially supports an intensity-dependent threshold where time begins to be impaired,
  • Time was also underestimated time at 5-, 20-, and 30-seconds, but not at 10-seconds, which may be related to the familiarity with the ubiquitous 10-second countdowns that occur in society (e.g., New Year’s eve, sports)
  • These findings were independent of age.
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