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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2015 June;55(6):549-56

language: English

Effect of colored lenses on muscular performance

Fisher J., D’amario D., Small C., Stopforth M.

Centre for Health Exercise and Sport Science Southampton Solent University, Southampton, UK


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AIM: The effect of color on physiological parameters appears well documented. However, methodological weaknesses and limitations to practical application suggest it to be substantially under researched with regard to physical performance. The aim of this study was to consider the effects of red, blue and clear (control) colored lens glasses on a muscular endurance task.
METHODS: Fifteen healthy males (21±1.34 years) were instructed to perform repetitions to failure using their predetermined 25 repetition maximum (RM) on a seated leg press. Participants completed three randomised trials exposed to blue, red and clear lenses.
RESULTS: A repeated measure ANOVA identified a significant difference in the amount of repetitions performed between the three conditions. A pairwise comparison revealed significantly greater repetitions for the blue lens condition compared to clear lenses (P=0.008). From the data an effect size (ES) of 0.76 was calculated for blue lensed glasses. The red lens condition showed no significant variation from clear lenses in repetitions performed.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this research suggest that exposure to the color blue improves performance of a muscular endurance based task. Such a simple and inexpensive performance enhancement warrants further investigation to explore different exercise modalities as well as effects of different colored lenses, and the mechanisms as to how color affects performance.

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james.fisher@solent.ac.uk