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Effects of a single bout of walking on psychophysiologic responses and executive function in elderly adults: a pilot study

Authors Hatta A, Nishihira Y, Higashiura T

Received 8 April 2013

Accepted for publication 7 June 2013

Published 19 July 2013 Volume 2013:8 Pages 945—952


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Arihiro Hatta,1 Yoshiaki Nishihira,2 Takuro Higashiura3

1Department of Health Pharmacy, Yokohama College of Pharmacy, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan; 2Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan; 3Department of Law, Faculty of Law, Seiwa University, Kisarazu, Chiba, Japan

Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a single bout of walking on mood, psychophysiologic responses, and executive function in elderly adults.
Methods: Twenty healthy, elderly adults (10 women and 10 men; mean age 70.50 ± 3.4 years) participated in this study. Mood, as assessed by the Profile of Mood States, and salivary α-amylase activity were examined before and after walking. Executive functions were also evaluated by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.
Results: Negative feeling scores such as tension-anxiety, anger-hostility, and confusion significantly improved after walking. No significant differences were found for either salivary α-amylase activities or Wisconsin Card Sorting Test scores before and after walking. However, the changes in salivary α-amylase activity before and after walking correlated positively with the number of total errors and perseverative errors of Nelson in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test.
Conclusion: These results suggest that moderate exercise, such as self-paced one-time walking, induces beneficial psychologic effects in elderly adults. Meanwhile, the significant increase in salivary α-amylase activity after walking might temporarily cause deterioration of executive function.

Keywords: salivary α-amylase, Profile of Mood States, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, perseverative error

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