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Title:The effects of low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise on cognition and affect
Author(s):Morales, Dakota G.
Advisor(s):Petruzzello, Steven J.
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):physical activity, low-to-moderate exercise, cognition, attention, working memory, affect, trait anxiety, resilience
Abstract:Acute low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise has been shown to have beneficial effects on cognition and result in positive affective responses. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of acute low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise on behavioral measures of cognition (i.e., attentional inhibition, working memory) and affective states (i.e., state anxiety, Energy, Tiredness, Tension, and Calmness). It was also of interest to determine if individual differences (i.e., trait anxiety, dispositional resilience) had any effect on the changes to cognitive and affective responses due to acute low-to-moderate intensity aerobic exercise. 24 college-aged students (n= 10 female, age = 21.4 yrs, BMI = 26.6, height = 169.8 cm, body mass= 76.6 kg) participated in the study. Individuals participated in 2 non-consecutive days of testing. Day 1 entailed the completion of informed consent, PAR-Q+, measures of attentional inhibition (i.e.,, Eriksen Flanker Task) and a working memory task (i.e., N-Back task), and an online questionnaire gathering demographic information, exercise history, and individual difference measures (i.e., Trait Anxiety Inventory-Y2, Disposition Resilience Scale-15). On Day 2, participants completed a 20-minute exercise session on a treadmill. Affective measures (i.e., State Anxiety Inventory-Y1, Activation-Deactivation Adjective Checklist) were taken before and after exercise. A Polar Heart Rate monitor was used to keep participants exercising at 50-65% of their estimated HRmax. Immediately following exercise, participants completed the same cognitive tasks as Day 1. Results showed individuals had faster reaction times on measures of attentional inhibition and working memory. Affective changes were also observed for state anxiety, Energy, Tiredness, and Calmness from Baseline to post-exercise. These results add to the literature that acute, low-to-moderate aerobic exercise has beneficial effects on cognitive and affective responses.
Issue Date:2019-07-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Dakota Morales
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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