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Am J Health Promot. 2018 May;32(4):949-958. doi: 10.1177/0890117117744913. Epub 2017 Dec 7.

Differential Experimental Effects of a Short Bout of Walking, Meditation, or Combination of Walking and Meditation on State Anxiety Among Young Adults.

Author information

1
1 Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, Exercise Psychology Laboratory, Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA.
2
2 School of Psychiatry, Black Dog Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
3
3 Jackson Heart Study Vanguard Center of Oxford, Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory, Exercise Psychology Laboratory, Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Single bouts of aerobic exercise and meditation have been shown to improve anxiety states. Yet to be evaluated in the literature, we sought to examine the effects of a single, short bout of aerobic exercise or meditation, as well as exercise and meditation combined on state anxiety among young adults.

DESIGN:

Randomized controlled trial.

SETTING:

University.

SUBJECTS:

Participants (N = 110, mean age = 21.4 years) were randomly assigned to walk, meditate, walk then meditate, meditate then walk, or to sit (inactive control).

MEASURES:

All walking and meditation bouts were 10 minutes in duration. Participants' state anxiety was monitored before and after the intervention using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Significant group × time interaction effects were observed ( P = .01). Post hoc paired t tests revealed that state anxiety significantly decreased from baseline to postintervention in the meditation ( P = .002), meditation then walk ( P = .002), and walk then meditation ( P = .03) groups but not the walk ( P = .75) or control ( P = .45) groups.

CONCLUSION:

Meditation (vs a brisk walk) may be a preferred method of attenuating anxiety symptomology. Individuals desiring the health benefits associated with aerobic exercise may achieve additional anxiolytic benefits if they employ a brief meditation session before or after exercising.

KEYWORDS:

anxiety; combination; exercise psychology; meditation; physical activity; walking

PMID:
29216745
DOI:
10.1177/0890117117744913

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