Term of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Christina Gipson

Committee Member 1

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 2

Greg Ryan


The use of social media in high-intensity functional fitness (HIFT) athletes facilitated social comparisons that affected recovery and motivation. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to use social comparison theory to investigate the impact that short workout videos had on heart rate (HR), heart rate recovery (HRR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), perceived recovery status (PRS) and time to completion. Methods:Thirty-three individuals who identified as HIFT athletes participated in this study (age: 30.45 years ± 6.59, height: 169.41cm ± 8.69, weight: 73.07 kg ± 13.65). The participants were made up of 57.6% (n=19) female and 42.4% (n=14). Participants were randomized and put through three conditions of a control, elite athlete video and recreational athlete videos which were shown before completing a HIFT workout of: 3 rounds of 10 pull-ups, 15 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, and 25 air-squat. The following data was collected between each round: HR, HRR, RPE, PRS, and time. Athletes were asked to fill out the Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Scale to assess social comparison during the treatment conditions. Descriptive statistics were run to determine means and standard deviations for all data. The data was checked for normality. Questionnaires were analyzed for reliability and scores were compared using dependent samples t-test. A repeated measures ANOVA was run between total averages using an alpha level of .05 and between rounds with Bonferroni correction using an alpha level of .002. Results: Significant differences in social comparison were found in the elite video condition (3.68 ± .62, p= .046) while RPE showed significant differences in the elite video condition (14.41 ± 1.84, p=.023). Time to completion showed significant differences in both conditions of recreational (11.25 mins ± 1.22, p < .001) and elite (11.15 mins ±1.28, p = .011) as well as in between round comparisons (p < .001) with participants finishing 8.4 seconds faster in the recreational video condition. Conclusion: Social comparison during exercise is used as a motivator to push athletes. Social comparison during exercise is possible and further investigation should be completed to understand the effects on physiological and psychological measurements in high-intensity exercise.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material