Influence of Visual and Auditory Stimuli on Exercise Intensity Among School-Age Children


  • Patricia Sandoval
  • Amanda Staiano Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • Holly Kihm Southeastern Louisiana University



physical education, exercise, music, videotape recording, child,


This pilot study tested the efficacy of auditory and visual stimuli to increase children’s exercise intensity while exercising in a classroom. Nineteen children aged 6 to 12 years participated in four exercise conditions (treadmill with and without music; cycling with and without video) with heart rate monitored continuously. This study used t tests to compare % HR above rest between conditions. Children met levels of vigorous intensity in all conditions. There was a small but nonsignificant effect in % HR for treadmill (94 ± 18 with music vs. 87 ± 18 without music, Cohen’s d = 0.39) and cycling (49 ± 25 with video vs. 59 ± 30 without video, Cohen’s d = 0.37). Children reached vigorous-intensity levels regardless of auditory or visual stimulus. Future research should test positive and negative effects of auditory and visual stimuli on children’s exercise intensity within a school setting.Subscribe to TPE

Author Biographies

Patricia Sandoval

Ms. Sandoval was a research assistant on the project study and key contributer to the manuscript

Amanda Staiano, Pennington Biomedical Research Center

Dr. Amanda Staiano, Assistant Professor and Director of the Pediatric Obesity and Health Lab at Pennington Biomedical Research Center 

Holly Kihm, Southeastern Louisiana University

Dr. Holly Kihm, Associate Professor, Director of the Interactive Physical Activity Lab, Southeastern Louisiana University