Analysis of physiological changes related to emotions during a zipline activity

Damien Dupré*, Nicole Andelic, Daniel Stephen Moore, Gawain Morrison, Gary John McKeown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the popularity of physiological wearable sensors in sport activities to provide feedback on athletes’ performance, understanding the factors influencing changes in athletes’ physiological rhythms remains a challenge. Changes in physiological rhythms such as heart rate, breathing rate, or galvanic skin response can be due to both physical exertion and psycho-emotional states. Separating the influence of physical exertion and psycho-emotional states in activities that involves both is complicated. As a result, the influence of psycho-emotional states is usually underestimated. To identify the specific influence of psycho-emotional states in physiological rhythm changes, 28 participants were asked to participate in a zipline activity, which involve little or no physical exertion while stimulating psycho-emotional states. Using nonlinear analyses, results show that specific changes in physiological rhythms can be associated with phases in ziplining, after which they can be related to emotional states felt during the activity. Regarding data analysis of wearable sensors, this paper presents a workflow to identify significant physiological patterns across multiple athletes performing the same outdoor activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Number of pages11
JournalSports Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date9 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported and led by Sensum Ltd. in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast.
The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions. The authors also would like to thank the developers of the following R packages used to process, analyze, display, and report data: R [67] and the R packages broom [68], captioner [69], dplyr [70], facetscales [71], forcats [72], ggplot2 [73], ggpubr [74], gridExtra [75], gtools [76], here [77], kableExtra [78], magrittr [79], mgcv [51,52,53], nlme [80], papaja [81], plyr [70, 82], png [83], purrr [84], readr [85], stringr [86], tibble [87], tidyr [88], and tidyverse [89].


  • Emotion
  • Multivariate time-series
  • Nonlinear analysis
  • Physiology
  • Wearable monitoring


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