The effect of moderate regular physical activity on mood regulation in the older adult
The positive impact of physical activity is well-documented (Rejeski, Shannon, and Mihalko, 2001). Sedentary living takes the risk of morbidity and mortality from coronary heart disease and stroke and doubles it (Troisi, Heinold, Vokonas, & Weiss, 1991). In addition to the health benefits related to physical activity there are also positive psychological implications associated with regular physical activity. In fact, physical activity can help off-set the daily stressors of life. Mood can be enhanced and anxiety reduced through participation in aerobic exercise. Many studies have explored ways that exercise can promote psychological health by improving mood and reducing anxiety (Johannson, 2007). This purpose of this project was to determine the impact a regular physical activity program can have on older adult’s mood regulation. Twentyeight women (X= 71 ± 5 yrs) were recruited. Individuals voluntarily chose to participate in the Well-Rounded Exercise Program (WellREP) and agreed to complete the questionnaires related to their current mood state. Participants were screened using the EASY (Exercise And Screening for You) Screening tool in order to determine the appropriateness of their participation. The Well-Rounded Exercise Program , a 4-componenet routine to increase physical activity, was the intervention. The program includes four components: cardio-respiratory, flexibility, strength, and balance. Mood was evaluated using five concepts: quality of life, well-being, satisfaction with life, self esteem, and happiness. Of the 28 participants who started the study, 15 completed both pre and post testing, thus the program experienced a large amount of attrition which was attributed to the nature of the questionnaires. Result revealed significant improvement in physical activity and one measure of mood – happiness. The lack of improvement on the majority of the mood measures may be attributed to a ceiling effect in which participants were a relatively happy group leaving little room for improvement.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Science, Dept. of Gerontology.