The effects of acute aerobic exercise on executive functions

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för hälsa och välfärd; Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för hälsa och välfärd

Abstract: The aim of the study was to examine the acute effects of exercise on three executivefunctions: attention, inhibition and working memory, in regularly exercising women (​n​ = 10)and men (​n​ = 10). Furthermore, the purpose was to investigate if different intensity levels ofaerobic exercise had an effect on executive functioning. Twenty adults, aged 21-54 years,participated in the study. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two differentexercise intensity levels, moderate or vigorous. Every participant was assigned twoconditions, inactive and active. In both conditions, the participants were exposed to twentyminutes on a stationary bicycle, followed by a 10 minute delay before testing cognitivefunctions. To evaluate executive performance, three cognitive tests were used: the Strooptest, Trail Making Test and Digit span. No significant results were found. Results fromprevious studies, combined with the present study, indicate that the relationship betweenexercise and executive functioning is very complex and needs further research.

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