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Investigating the effect of low and high intensity exercise on cognitive function with the use of a correlational design.

Matthews, Charlotte (2017) Investigating the effect of low and high intensity exercise on cognitive function with the use of a correlational design. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Engagement in exercise has been found to be one of the biggest predictors of cognitive health (Elwood et al, 2013). This study intends to build on this by investigating the relationship between exercise intensity and cognitive function in sixty healthy participants aged 18-75. The present study used a cross sectional design to assess the association between high and low intensity exercise and performance on memory and executive function tasks. This was investigated at the same time point to assess the relationship in current cognitive health. Multiple regression analyses revealed that high intensity exercise can uniquely and significantly predict cognitive performance in each of the two domains. Furthermore it suggests that high intensity exercise is positively associated with current cognitive health and suggests that participation in high intensity exercise produces an all-encompassing benefit on cognition. However there was no association discovered between low intensity exercise and cognitive function. Analysis indicated that low intensity exercise cannot significantly predict cognitive performance when assessed at the same time point. Therefore future research must investigate this relationship using objective measurement of intensity over a longer period of time. To conclude, the current findings have implications for the future study of pathological and non-pathological aging.

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