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Scand J Psychol. 1991;32(3):225-32.

Mood change and marathon running: a pilot study using a Swedish version of the POMS test.

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University of Stockholm, Sweden.


Regular exercise is said to have positive effects on mood, especially if the exercise intensity is low to moderate. However, the acute effects resulting from participation in a strenuous competition, such as a marathon race, have been studied less. The present investigation used the Profile of Mood States (POMS) test to measure mood, before and after the 1989 Stockholm Marathon. A total of 106 male runners (mean age 40.0 years), with finishing times between 3h and 3h 45 min participated as subjects. Results showed great changes between pre- and post-marathon scores, most of them significant at the p less than 0.001 level. Furthermore, differences between a faster and a slower group of runners were demonstrated with regard to mood states, even though plasma glucose levels were comparable. It is concluded that participation in a marathon race greatly effects mood, mainly in a more negative way than low to moderately intense exercise does.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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