Hollander, D. B., Ciano-Federoff, L., Perna, F. M., & Larkin, K. T. (2001). Social support buffers cardiovascular and perceptual responses to exercise and recovery but not anticipation to exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 33(5), Supplement abstract 1470.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of social support on exercise-induced cardiovascular responses and perceptions of exercise. Healthy, non-physically active young men (N = 28) involved in long-term relationships served as Ss. In the experimental conditions, Ss sat quietly for eight minutes, or for four minutes followed by another four minutes in the presence of their socially supportive partner. That was followed by 9 minutes of exercise at 60% of maximal heart rate alone, or in the presence of the significant other.

There was no effect of the other person's presence on initial cardiovascular measures, but during exercise, there was a reduced response. Exercise was considered more enjoyable in the presence of the other.

Implication. The presence of a significant other to provide social support buffered the cardiovascular response to moderate exercise in healthy males. There was no effect on the anticipatory responses to the onset of exercise.

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