The intensity of physical activity outside and learning

In this week’s visualisation, I tried to go deeper into the relationship between physical activity outside and learning. I tried to assess the influence of physical activities’ intensity on the relationship.

Does the intensity of physical activities outside influence my willingness to study? Not clear

It is hard to tell due to the fact that some days I felt more motivated to study after a hard workout, while during other days it even had a negative effect and my motivation went down due to physical fatigue (Yu et al., 2006, p.331).

Does the intensity of physical activities outside influence my engagement in course activities? No

It clearly can be seen that the physical activity intensity does vary between Wed/Thur/Fri. However, engagement varies. Various factors need to be considered. Data is not neutral, and the imprint of producer needs to be assessed (Knox et al., 2019). For instance, I leave my course activities at the end of the week. Most of my high-intensity physical activities are at night.

Visualisation design choices: lines where chosen to clearly show the intensity. The green colour was chosen to show a positive relationship between physical activities and learning. Green is often associated with positivity (Akers et al., 2012).

Physical intensity has little/or no influence on my learning.


Akers, A., Barton, J., Cossey, R., Gainsford, P., Griffin, M., & Micklewright, D. (2012). Visual Color Perception in Green Exercise: Positive Effects on Mood and Perceived Exertion. Environmental Science & Technology, 46(16), 8661-8666.

Knox, J., Williamson, B. & Bayne, S. (2019). Machine behaviourism: future visions of ‘learnification’ and ‘datafication’ across humans and digital technologies, Learning, Media and Technology, 45(1), pp. 1-15.

Yu, C. C. W, Chan, Scarlet, Cheng, Frances, Sung, R. Y. T, & Hau, Kit-Tai. (2006). Are physical activity and academic performance compatible? Academic achievement, conduct, physical activity and self-esteem of Hong Kong Chinese primary school children. Educational Studies, 32(4), 331-341.

5 replies on “The intensity of physical activity outside and learning”

I really liked the simplicity of this visualisation, which seemed tightly focused on your experiment. Your choice of visual cues appeared very straightforward; the ‘intensity’ almost reflecting a heartbeat, and the tick or cross providing a well-understood symbol for the outcome.

I think it is great that you were able to come to a clear conclusion, however I wonder if some more reflection might have been useful too. For example, what did it mean to represent ‘motivation’ in such discrete ways? Is ‘motivation’ so easily quantifiable? It also seemed interesting that on Wednesday you felt motivated, but didn’t engage – this seemed like it perhaps needed more explanation than the data could reveal?

Hi, thank you for these comments! Overall, I try to be a simple as possible that people could easily understand a message. I am not sure though if it is a good or a bad thing.

Yes, more reflection might be useful. However, 200 words limit is pretty challenging. Should I have written more reflection instead of other things that I have analyzed?

I know the word count is challenging, but it is not a hard limit. If you go over, don’t worry, it won’t count against you.

Very nice and easy-to-follow visualisation. I tracked my motivation this week and thought I knew what would increase or decrease my motivation but when I logged my data, I realised how many different factors play a part. Lots to think about!

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