Aaron Gouw1, Taylor Miller1, Hailey Parker1. Effects of Green Environment on Anaerobic Performance. 1High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program, Western Colorado University, Gunnison, CO, USA.
Purpose: Previous studies suggest that “Green” (outdoor) exercise improves psychological and physiological performance when compared to indoor exercise. However, there is a lack of research comparing anaerobic performance in an outdoor versus indoor environment. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of different environmental settings on anaerobic performance as measured by a Wingate test. We hypothesized that Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and the Fatigue Index (FI) will be lower, while Peak Power Output (PPO) and Average Power Output (APO) will be greater in the “Green” (outdoor) environment compared to an indoor environment. Methods: A single-blind crossover study was conducted with 18 participants between the ages of 18-30 who met ACSM’s guidelines for physical activity. Participants completed a Wingate protocol on a cycle ergometer in both an indoor and outdoor setting. Power, heart rate, and RPE measurements were collected to compare indoor versus outdoor performance. Results: All subjects were able to complete both indoor and outdoor Wingate sessions. PPO for the indoor (831.53 ± 248.81 W ) and outdoor (904.10 ± 336.94 W) sessions were significantly different (p < 0.05. APO for the indoor (425.15 ± 117.67 W) environment and outdoor (438.59 ± 127.16 W) environment were significantly different (p < 0.05). FI was not significantly different (p > 0.05) between indoor (39.59 ± 9.76%) and outdoor (40.75 ± 9.69%) sessions. RPE was not significantly different between indoor (7.67 ± 0.97) and outdoor conditions (7.89 ± 1.13) (p > 0.05). Furthermore, post-Wingate heat rate was not significantly different (p > 0.05) for indoor (178.39 ± 23.17) versus outdoor (173.00 ± 19.85) environments. Conclusion: These findings suggest that a green (outdoor) environment enhances anaerobic performance, specifically peak and average power output during a Wingate test. However, a green environment does not appear to influence fatigue index or RPE.