Exercise tests for the general population are normally designed to provide exercise professionals with information on disease diagnosis or prevention, rehabilitation and intensities to commence an exercise programme (de Vries and Housh, 1995). The feedback participants receive can help to establish appropriate intrinsic motivation to achieve goal outcomes.
Goal determination will vary depending upon the types of test being completed, the background to the participant, the person commissioning the tests and a range of less tangible factors. While some participants will self-refer to receive exercise testing as part of a health club membership package, an increasing number of participants do not.
The latter are often asked to attend for exercise testing as part of a corporate programme offered to employees (seen by the employers as an employee benefit) though employees might not always be positive about the impact of the assessment, the imposition on their normal lives or their perceived understanding of the purpose of the tests.
Many organisations now have minimum health (or fitness) standards required for continued employment; these include the ambulance service, fire service, some police forces, professional football referees and many other occupations that have a measured, objective physical component to their employment base.
Not just this, they also require you to be completely sober before being employed. And, thus they test the same as well to check if you are addicted to substance abuse like heroin, etc., or not. If you are addicted to such substances, you must seek help from the experts available through centers like heroin rehab at Muse because only after completing the recovery process and becoming sober is when you will be able to be eligible to be employed in the stated services.
Regardless of the types of physical activity in which people engage, whether it is exercise, practice for sport, sports performance or fitness testing, an individual’s mental energy to concentrate attention and maintain a positive mental attitude is essential in ensuring optimum physical performances. It is very easy to waste mental energy and therefore physical energy on worry, stress, fretting over distractions and negative thoughts.
This will have the combined effect of reducing enjoyment and adversely affecting results. Effective concentration will help to maintain sound technique, for example, during running on the treadmill or when performing shuttles, while enabling participants to conserve energy. Fatigue brought about by physical effort or cognitive stress will result in muscle tiredness and a downward spiral of negative thinking that will exacerbate feelings of pain, fatigue, hopelessness and defeat.
Exercise testing has a strong association with intrinsic motivation. There is anecdotal evidence to show that people who score higher than anticipated on exercise tests can become more motivated and more committed, while those who score lower than anticipated can become less motivated and less committed. This seems to be associated with Attribution Theory that attempts to explain behaviours and has been evidenced in medical settings
STRESS AND ANXIETY
Just as psychological preparation for performance in sport is now a recognised part of athlete preparation, so too are psychological aspects of physiological assessment and these should be understood by the exercise professional, and arguably the participant as well. The right mental approach to exercise testing often begins when a date is established for that fear inducing battery of assessments agreed between the coach(es) and the sport scientist(s), since the very thought of exercise testing can create anxiety in many.
Others will see this as an opportunity to excel, show why they should be selected above others or merely gain a better understanding of their current physiological status. However, from that point forward, participants will often consciously and subconsciously worry about the types of test, the purpose of the tests, previous experience with the tests and this can result in a range of cognitive concerns, which manifest themselves as fear and trepidation.