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Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2014, 21, 147-150
IEVA KUNDZIÒA , JURIS GRANTS Latvian Academy of Sport Education, Department of Anatomy , Department of Skiing Mailing address: Ieva Kundziòa, Latvian Academy of Sport Education, Department of Anatomy, 333 Brivibas Street, LV-1006 Riga, tel.: +371 29109865, fax: +371 67543480, Abstract
. This sports-science-related article heavily relies on studies that have reported an increase in beta-endor-
phin (â-EP) concentration in plasma in response to physical activity. It examines the psychological and physiological
effects of physical activity and exercise and reports on a research-experiment-based, endorphin-hypotheses-related pilot
study aimed at exploring mood-related â-EP effects occurring in physically active male and female individuals aged 45-55
in response to physical load. Material and methods. Six 45 to 55-year-old individuals (3 males and 3 females) rated as ex-
hibiting moderate and high levels of physical activity in sport's laboratory. International Physical Activity Questionnaire
(IPAQ) was used to establish physical activity level. For facial expression analysis a short interview was applied, using
software "FaceReader 3.0" (FR). As a load test a veloergometer exercise test was used, and Beta-endorphin (â-EP) levels
were measured from venous blood. Results. The findings demonstrated an increase in â-EP levels in 50% of the subjects.
No positive relation between â-EP increase and happiness has been observed. In four subjects an increase in disgust was
observed due to the laboratory conditions. Five minutes after the load test FR data recorded the reduction or disappear-
ance of negative emotions for all research subjects. Conclusions. Further investigation into the relationship of plasma lev-
els of â-EP and the emotional state of the individual involved in physical activities is needed. This necessitates a further
insight into how exercise-elevated endorphins (â-EP) affect mood state outside laboratory conditions. Therefore, a further
investigation of people involved in physical recreation activities outdoors is envisaged.
Key words: plasma beta-endorphins, emotional expressions, physical load
Subjective data was gathered by interviewing the subjects re-garding the feelings they were experiencing at the moment and Endorphins were discovered in the mid-1970s. Endorphins asking them to speculate about their reasons for being in a par- are released from the pituitary gland into the circulatory system ticular emotional state (the interview's questions were: "How do [1, 2, 3]. In the literature there are a lot of different studies where you feel?" and "What are the main reasons of your feelings?"). researchers show relations between endorphins and a number The interview was required for assessment of emotions using of psychological and adaptive factors such as analgesia, stress, facial expression analysis software: FaceReader (FR). Objective emotions, motivation, behavior, euphoria and mental well-be- data was gathered by evaluating each subject's emotional state ing [3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. There are also studies examining the relation- with the help of FaceReader (FR). As a complete facial expres- ship between vigorous exercise and blood plasma endorphin sion analysis program, it is the world's first tool capable of auto- levels; some researchers indicate a significant increase in en- matically analyzing facial expressions. It recognizes facial ex- dorphin levels during or after exercise, while others do not [3, 8, pressions with an accuracy of 89%. The version which was used 9, 10]. The present article reviews the relationship between beta was FaceReader 3 [11]. By allowing the user to evaluate a per- endorphins and emotional state in response to physical activity.
son's emotional state in terms of 6 basic emotional states – "happy", "sad", "angry", "disgusted", "scared", "surprised" (the two additional options being "neutral" and "other") – it pro- Material and methods
vided an objective assessment of a subject's emotional state. Emotions like "neutral" and "other" were not analyzed. Five The pilot research took place on February 21 and March 1, minutes after the facial expression analysis, blood samples were 2013 in the locally available sports laboratory "VIP Sport" drawn from the median cubital vein. After the drawing of ve- in Riga. The subjects had been selected according to the fol- nous blood samples, a test on the veloergometer followed. It was lowing criteria: age, gender and physical activity level, the latter a maximal physical load test without a rest period with the load having been judged according to the results of the short version being increased after every 3 minutes and an average duration of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) reaching 28 minutes. Five minutes after the load test the pre-test administered beforehand. Six 45 to 55-year-old individuals procedures – interviewing the participants, applying the Face (3 males and 3 females) exhibiting moderate and high levels Reader and drawing the blood samples – were repeated to col- of physical activity took part in the research experiment. First, lect the post-test data so that conclusions could be drawn about data regarding the participants' emotional state was recorded. the psychological and physiological load-effected manifesta- Copyright 2014 by Józef Pi³sudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Bia³a Podlaska Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2014, 21, 147-150
tions in the research subjects. Post-test procedures were per- To assess subjects' emotions before and 5 minutes after the formed in exactly the same conditions as before the veloergome- veloergometer test "FaceReader 3.0", a facial expression analysis ter test. The vacutainers containing pre- and post-test blood program, was used. To aid in identifying emotions with FR, samples were delivered to the laboratory, where plasma â-EP a short interview was conducted consisting of two questions: endorphin levels were determined by means of a standard ra- "How do you feel?" and "What are the main reasons of your feel- dioimmunoassay ELISA kit [12]. In analyzing the research re- sults, gender- and menstrual-cycle-influenced circulating Summarizing positive emotions (happiness and surprise) FR endorphin concentration was not considered. â-EP levels in data showed an increase in positive emotions for four subjects women at rest may be slightly lower than in men regardless (JG +47%; IB +14%; JP and IZ +1%). Only for one subject, IK, of the timing of women's menstrual cycle, but there is no sta- were positive emotions decreased: by 3% (fig. 3). In examining tistical significance of physical-load-affected â-EP level re- positive emotions separately, the results showed an increase in sponse related to gender [13].
happiness of 20% and a decrease in surprise of 23% (fig. 4 and 5).
positive emotions before (%) positive emotions after (%) The aim of the study was to explore â-EP effects on the hu- man body, in particular, â-EP-affected changes in the emotional state of physically active individuals, both male and female, aged 45 to 55 involved in a veloergometer test. To achieve this aim, plasma â-EP levels were tested and a facial expressions analyzer, FR, was used.
The blood test results showed a plasma â-EP increase in 3 sub- jects (JG +33.74%, IB +17.84%, MP +38.79%) and a decrease in other 3 subjects (IK 21.17%, JP 16.8%, IZ 7.87%) (fig. 1).
â-EP level changes (%) Figure 3. Positive emotions for all subjects before and after
veloergometer test (%) In analyzing data concerning the effect of the physical load on the happiness level, an increase was observed for three sub- jects (JG +28%; IK +20%; IZ +13%). For the other three subjects FR diagnosed happiness neither before nor after the veloer- gometer test (fig. 4).
happiness before (%) Figure 1. Changes in plasma â-EP levels after veloergometer test
happiness after (%) Before the load test, the lowest plasma â-EP level was diag- nosed for subject JG – 16.3 ng/ml and the highest for subject IZ – 35.6 ng/ml (fig. 2).
â-EP before (ng/ml) â-EP after (ng/ml) Figure 4. Percentage level of happiness for all subjects before and
after veloergometer test The FR data indicated an increase in emotions like surprise for three subjects (JG +19%; IB +14%; JP +1%). For subject MP, the level of surprise did not change and for subjects IK and IZ the surprise decreased by -23% and -12% respectively (fig. 5).
Figure 2. Plasma â-EP levels before and after veloergometer
Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2014, 21, 147-150
surprise before (%) surprise after (%) scared before (%) Figure 5. Percentage level of surprise for all subjects before and after
Figure 7. Percentage level of fright for all subjects before and after
veloergometer test veloergometer test In summarizing all FR data for all six subjects it becomes FR data on negative emotions like sadness showed an in- clear that almost all of them show a reduction in negative emo- crease for only one subject – IZ (+5%). After the load test, sad- tions (fright, sadness, anger, disgust) after the veloergometer test. ness was observed to dissapear for subject JG. For subject JP, Face Only for one subject, MP, did facial expression analysis software Reader observed no sadness at all. For subjects IB, MP and IK show an increase in negative emotions of 15% (fig. 6). Separate data showed a decrease in sadness by -7%, -19% and -1%, re- analysis showed an increase in negative emotions for subject MP: spectively (fig. 8).
a pronounced, 34% increase in disgust (fig. 7), which is the main reason for the high overall level of negative emotions.
sadness before (%) sadness after (%) negative emotions before (%) negative emotions after (%) Figure 8. Percentage level of sadness for all subjects before and after
veloergometer test Figure 6. Negative emotions for all subjects before and after
veloergometer test (%) After the physical load test, FR detected changes in anger for only two subjects – JG and JP. For subject JP, anger decreased by An analysis of FR data on negative emotions – fright, sad- 28%, while for subject JG it disappeared altogether (fig. 9).
ness, anger and disgust – indicated a decrease in fright for sub-jects IB -25%; IK -32%; IZ -14%. For subject JG fright was ob-served to disappear after the veloergometer test, and for subjects MP and JP fright was not observed at all (fig. 7).
Figure 9. Percentage level of anger for all subjects before and after
veloergometer test Pol. J. Sport Tourism 2014, 21, 147-150
After the veloergometer tests, FR observed an increase in Further investigation is needed regarding the relationship be- disgust for four subjects – IB +11%; MP +34%; IK +7% and IZ tween plasma levels of â-EP and the emotional state of the indi- +3%. Only for one subject, JG, did Face Reader diagnose the vidual involved in physical activities. To determine the role of disappearance of disgust, while for another subject, JP, this beta-endorphin effect on psychological well-being in exercise, emotion was not observed at all (fig. 10).
the authors are going to perform research outdoors using differ-ent physical recreation activities involving a defined heart rate and a specific amount of time.
disgusted before (%) disgusted after (%) 1. Mousa S.A., Shakibaei M., Sitte N., Schäfer M., Stein C. (2004). Subcellular pathways of beta-endorphin synthesis, processing, and release from immunocytes in inflammatory pain. Endocrinology 145(3), 1331-41.
2. Bender T., Nagy G., Barna I., Tefner I., Kadas E., Geher P. (2007). The effect of physical therapy on beta-endorphin lev- els. European Journal of Applied Physiology 100, 371-382. 3. Biddle S.J.H., Mutrie N. (2007). Psychology of physical activ- ity determinants, well-being and interventions (2 edition). London: Routledge.
Figure 10. Percentage level of disgust for all subjects before and after
4. Peluso M., Andrade L. (2005). Physical activity and mental veloergometer test health: the association between exercise and mood. Clinics 60(1), 61-70.
5. Daniel M., Martin A. (1992). Opiate receptor blockade by naltrexone and mood state after acute physical activity. British Journal of Sports Medicine 26(2), 111-115.
The literature abounds in clinical research studies which 6. Kenneth R. (1999). The influence of physical activity on men- measure endorphin levels before and after physical activity. The tal well-being. Public Health Nutrition 2(3a), 411-418.
results obtained are conflicting: while some report a significant 7. Landers D.N. (1997). The influence of exercise on mental increase in endorphin levels, others do not. A number of find- health. PCPFS Research Digest 2(12).
ings support the idea that endorphins may be released as a result 8. Boecker H., Othman A., Mueckter S., Scheef L., Pensel M., of exercising with an intensity of at least 60% VO Daamen M. et al. (2010). Advocating neuroimaging studies cific amount of time [14]. Observations show that acute positive of transmitter release in human physical exercise challenges changes in mood after physical activity might be related to an studies. Journal of Sports Medicine 1, 167-175.
increase in endorphin level [3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Our research demon- 9. Leuenberger A. (2006). Endorphins, exercise, and addic- strates that different changes in emotional state occur in both tions: A review of exercise dependence. The Premier Journal men and women due to a physical load. In analyzing the re- for Undergraduate Publications in the Neurosciences 3, 1-9.
search results, gender- and menstrual-cycle-influenced circu- 10. Pierce E., Eastman N., Tripathi H., Olson K., Dewey W. lating endorphin concentration was not considered. To summa- (1993). ß-Endorphin response to endurance exercise: rela- rize all FR data for all the subjects, each subject showed a re- tionship to exercise dependence. Perceptual and Motor Skills duction in at least one negative emotion after the veloergometer 77(3), 767-770.
test. For four pilot research subjects, FR observed an increase 11. Kuilenburg H., Uyl M. (2005). The FaceReader: Online facial in disgust after the veloergometer tests, which can be attributed expression recognition. In 5 International Conference on to laboratory conditions. The FR data collected prior to the load Methods and Techniques in Behavioral Research "Measuring test indicate that every research subject experiences at least one Behavior 2005", 30 August – 2 September 2005 (pp. 589-590). of the negative emotions – fright, sadness or anger – while the Wageningen: Noldus Information Technology. Retrieved from data recorded 5 minutes after the load test show that this kind of emotion either becomes less pronounced or disappears. After the physical load test an increased percentage of sadness was 12. Kamiya Biomedical Company. Human â Endorphin (BEP) detected by FR only for one subject and increase was insignifi- ELISA kit. Instruction manual. Cat. No. KT-53389.
cant – only for 5%. An increase in happiness after the physical 13. Goldfarb A.H., Jamurtas A.Z., Kamimori G.H., Hegde S., Ot- load test was observed for three subjects. However, a clear re- terstetter R., Brown D.A. (1998). Gender effect on beta-endor- lation between plasma â-EP level and happiness was not found, phin response to exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports because a relation between plasma â-EP release (+33.74%) and and Exercise 30(12), 1672-1676.
increased happiness (+28%) was found for only one subject 14. Langenfeld M., Hart L., Kao P. (1987). Plasma endorphin responses to one hour bicycling and running at 60% VO Medicine and Science in Sports 19, 83-86.
Submitted: March 6, 2014 The presented investigation of both men and women found Accepted: June 30, 2014 changes in emotional state after a veloergometer test, with five of six subjects demonstrating a decrease in negative emotions (anger, sadness, fright, disgust). An obvious relation between plasma levels of â-EP and changes in six basic emotions detected by "FaceReader 3.0", a facial analysis program, was not found.
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