Leave the Screen: The Influence of Everyday Behaviors on Self-reported Interoception

Author: A Wallman-Jones1, C Nigg2, Benzing 5th2, M Schmidt2
1 Institute of Sport Science, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.
2 Institute of Sport Science, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
Conference/Journal: Biol Psychol
Date published: 2023 Jun 5
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2023.108600. , Word Count: 240

The influence of physical activity on interoception is apparent, however little is known about within-person variability following physical activity and sedentary behavior in daily life. To test this, 70 healthy adults (Mage 21.67±2.50) wore thigh-mounted accelerometers for 7-days, with self-reported interoception recorded on movement-triggered smartphones. Participants additionally reported the predominant activity type performed across the last 15minutes. Investigating this timeframe, multi-level analyses revealed that each one-unit increase in physical activity was associated with an increase in self-reported interoception (B = 0.0025, p =.013), whereas contrastingly, each one-minute increase in sedentary behavior was associated with a decrease (B = -0.06. p =.009). Investigating the influence of different activity types in comparison to screen time behavior, both partaking in exercise (B = 4.48, p <.001) and daily-life physical activity (B = 1.21, p <.001) were associated with an increase in self-reported interoception. Regarding other behavior categories, non-screen time behavior both with (B = 1.13, p <.001) and without (B = 0.67, p =.004) social interaction were also associated with an increase in self-reported interoception compared to screen-time behavior. Extending from previous laboratory-based studies, these findings indicate that physical activity influences interoceptive processes in real-life, further supplemented by the novel and contrasting findings regarding sedentary behavior. Furthermore, associations with activity type reveal important mechanistic information, highlighting the importance of reducing screen-time behavior to preserve and support interoceptive perceptions. Findings can be used to inform health recommendations for reducing screen-time behavior and guiding evidence-based physical activity interventions to promote interoceptive processes.

Keywords: body-awareness; embodiment; exercise; movement.

PMID: 37286096 DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2023.108600