Research on Benefits of Physical Exercise Essay Example
Research on Benefits of Physical Exercise Essay Example

Research on Benefits of Physical Exercise Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (945 words)
  • Published: November 2, 2021
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Purpose of the Study

The study seeks to establish how physical activity is associated with cognitive processing and affective experience putting much emphasis on potential age differences in the degree of benefit. It examined age differences in cognitive performance and affective experience immediately following a single bout of moderate exercise.

Further it seeks to show that exercise is associated with high levels of high-arousal positive effect (HAP) and reduced levels of low-arousal positive effect (LAP). The author argues that this study unlike numerous works on this area focuses on all age groups as opposed to either the younger or older people. This study is geared to affirm that physical exercise as an effective, low-cost intervention for improving both affective experience and cognitive performance (Hogan, Matta & Carstensen, 2013). Finally, the study projects to faster RTs on a working memory task than the control


condition across age.

Research Questions and Research Design The study has various research questions which include: 1. What is the relationship between physical exercise and affective experience and cognitive performance? 2. How does the degree of benefit from physical exercise vary depending on age difference? 3. What kind of correlation exists between either HAP or LAP and physical activity? The research design employs experimentation study rather than correlation study. Throughout the study the population sample did physical exercise upon which data was drawn to determine the variable under study which are affect assessment and cognitive performance.

For affect assessment measures that capture the affective circumplex, including both high- and low-arousal positive and negative states for studies testing the affective effects of exercise whereas for cognitive performance, a working memory as assessed using n-back task. The

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data is cross-sectional in nature because it is obtained from different age groups as in the case of a single age group. It is across age groups and various measurable parameters ascertained for this study. Perceived physical exertion was assessed during exercise and control conditions.

Questionnaires were administered where participants also completed items assessing demographic characteristics and reported typical weekly physical activity.

Participants (sample)

This study used a sample population of 144 persons (N=144) aged 19 and 93 years (Hogan, Matta & Carstensen, 2013). The sample was drawn from residents who were recruited through advertisements on internet bulletin boards and university kiosks to participate in a lab-based study on exercise. Eligibility was assessed by filling Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) to determine factors that would be deemed too risky for one t take a physical such as heart or joint problems. Only participants who received a ‘’ no’’ answer to all questions from a medical officer were allowed to participate.

Besides, a mini- mental state examination (MMSE) was carried out to check any likelihood cognitive impairment. For one to participate had to have a score of 23 on a scale of 26.


Following a regression analysis that was carried out it is evident that there were no significant differences between baseline HAP states. When affect composite scores were regressed on age to test for initial differences of age in affect ratings. Results point out that age does not significant predict baseline HAP.

In terms of HAP, we observed an effect of condition such that exercise participants reported a greater increase in HAP than did controls. Testing the effect on LAP, we observed a marginal effect of condition

such that participants who exercised reported greater decrease in LAP than those in the control condition (Hogan, Matta & Carstensen, 2013).


The study concludes that indeed physical exercise benefits both affective experience and cognitive development. Purposely this study looked into whether age moderates these effects.

The results suggest that a single bout of exercise appears to have comparable and positive effects on both affective experience and cognitive performance, independent of participants’ age (Hogan, Matta & Carstensen, 2013). A single bout of exercise was associated with increased levels of HAP affect and the effect was consistent across the age range sampled. For LAP affects the results are a bit different. Younger age was associated with a drop in reported LAP affect, whereas older age was associated with the maintenance, and even slight increase in LAP, post exercise. Regarding effects of acute exercise on cognitive performance, we found that, independent of age, exercise resulted in significant improvement in 2-back RT compared with control participants.

Cautions/ Limitations

The key limitation of this study is that it uses one bout of exercise. It remains to be shown whether and how repeated exercise participation may differentially benefit people of different ages. The other limitation is that it only includes those deemed to be healthy leaving those seen as ‘’too risky’’ to do physical activity, therefore, it remains unclear whether to generalize the results to cover even those in poorer health.


This study can help us characterize the nature of exercise effects on affective experience and cognitive performance across the adult age range. Under controlled, experimental conditions, individuals across the adult age range experienced comparable benefits.

The relatively large sample of individuals

drawn from the community and ranging in age from 19 to 93 represents an additional strength of this study and may enhance the generalizability of our findings (Hogan, Matta & Carstensen, 2013). Future research is needed to further clarify how these findings may map on to exercise, affect, and cognition in daily life. The findings add to a growing body of research pointing to the importance of exercise for both physical and psychological health by suggesting that, even as individuals age, exercise remains an important contributor to psychological health, including affective experience and cognitive performance.


  1. Candice L. Hogan, Jutta Matta &Laura L. Carstensen (2013). Exercise Holds Immediate Benefits for Affect and Cognition in Younger and Older Adults, Stanford, Pub.
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