Exercise has significantly reduced symptoms of mental health disorders, but often overlooked is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Purpose: Examine the effects of moderate-intensity continuous aerobic exercise (MICE) and high-intensity functional exercise (HIFE), relative to an inactive control (SED), in participants with subsyndromal PTSD (sub-PTSD). Methods: Participants [N = 24, 9 males; age (M ± SD) = 25.9 ± 9.2 yrs] with sub-PTSD completed a VO2max test on day 1. Participants then completed 35-min MICE, HIFE, and SED conditions on days 2-4. Exercise conditions included a 5-min warm-up and cool-down, with 25-min exercise between 65–70 percent VO2max for MICE and an average of 80.36 ± 6.95 percent VO2max for HIFE. Anxiety and depression symptoms were assessed before (Pre), immediately (Post0), 20-min (Post20) and 40-minutes after (Post40) each condition. Results: Anxiety Post40 was significantly less than Pre for HIFE [d = 1.05], MICE [d = 0.78], and SED [d = 0.53]. Depression Post40 was significantly less than Pre for HIFE [d = 0.76], MICE [d = 0.84], and SED [d = 0.32]. Conclusion: Exercise significantly reduced anxiety and depression to a greater extent than SED. This study provides evidence for exercise-induced short-term improvements in comorbid psychological conditions associated with sub-PTSD. Implications for individuals experiencing clinical levels of PTSD could be vast and warrant further investigation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2021|
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology