Effects of Acute Exercise on Executive Function: A Study With a Tower of London Task

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $84.00

1 year subscription

USD  $111.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $159.00

2 year subscription

USD  $208.00

The purpose of this study is to extend the literature by examining the effects of an acute bout of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise on the executive functions of planning and problem solving assessed using a Tower of London Task (TOL Task). Forty-two participants were randomly assigned into either exercise or control group, and performed the TOL Task, before and immediately following exercise or a control treatment. The exercise group performed 30 min of exercise on a stationary cycle at moderate to vigorous intensity while the control group read for the same length of time. Results indicated that the exercise group achieved improvements in TOL Task scores reflecting the quality of planning and problem solving, but not in those reflecting rule adherence and performance speed. These findings indicate that an acute bout of aerobic exercise has facilitative effects on the executive functions of planning and problem solving.

Yu-Kai Chang is with the National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Chia-Liang Tsai is with the National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Tsung-Min Hung is with the National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan). Edmund Cheung So is with the Chi Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Feng-Tzu Chen is with the National Taiwan Sport University, Taoyuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). Jennifer L. Etnier is with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA.