Executive functions and type of exercise in older women

Helmes, E., and Harris, S. (2009) Executive functions and type of exercise in older women. In: The Abstracts of the 44th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, pp. 103-104. From: 44th Annual Conference of the Australian Psychological Society, 30 September - 4 October 2009 , Darwin, NT, Australia.

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Abstract

Recent research indicates that exercise can prevent or slow the rate of decline in cognitive functioning in older adults. Aerobic exercise is known to have benefits both on cardiovascular function and on cognitive functions, whereas strength or resistance training is more widely reported primarily to benefit muscle mass and bone density. A cross-sectional 2x2 analysis of the association of aerobic and resistance exercise with executive functioning was examined in 68 women over 50 years of age. Age, education, and metabolic equivalent scores were used as covariates. Participants were categorised into four groups (aerobic, resistance, combination and not exercising control) based on the type of exercise they reported participating in regularly for a period of at least two months prior to testing. Participants completed the Tower of London and Benton Controlled Oral Word Association (COWA, letters C, P, L) tests to assess executive functioning. Education was the only significant covariate for the COWA test, and there were no significant covariates for the Tower test. Findings indicated individuals participating in aerobic exercises performed significantly better on both tests of executive functioning than individuals not participating in aerobic exercise. Individuals participating in resistance exercises performed significantly better on the Tower test of executive functioning than individuals not participating in resistance exercise. This effect was not significant for the COWA test. Individuals participating in both aerobic and resistance exercises did not perform disproportionately better on either test; neither interaction term was significant. The small sample size limits the strength of conclusions, but the results do suggest that aerobic exercise may be more effective in promoting executive functions than resistance exercise. The results also suggest that only some functional systems of the frontal lobe are affected by resistance exercise.

Item ID: 11134
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: ageing; exercise; executive functions
ISBN: 978-0-909881-40-5
Date Deposited: 26 May 2010 03:12
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing @ 60%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170101 Biological Psychology (Neuropsychology, Psychopharmacology, Physiological Psychology) @ 30%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology @ 10%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health @ 75%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 25%
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