The Effects of Physical-Activity Level and Acute Exercise on Heart-Rate and Subjective Response to a Psychological Stressor

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  • Joan Duda
  • Darlene A. Sedlock
  • Christopher L. Melby
  • Christopher Thaman

Colleges, School and Institutes


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of chronic and acute exercise in heart rate and cognitive and somatic anxiety responses to a psychosocial stressor. Ten high physically active females and ten low physically active females participated in two experimental conditions: a single bout of exercise at 70% of the subject’s age predicted maximal heart rate and an attentional diversion condition. Acute exercise was found to be an ineffective means of reducing reactivity to stress when compared to attentional diversion. Physical activity level did not correspond to an attenuation in physiological and subjective responses to psychosocial stress.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-133
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988