Post-Exercise Affective Responses in Sedentary African American Females
Reed, Justy, Henert, Shaine, Journal of Sport Behavior
African American females have a high prevalence of obesity (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2007a) and hypertension (National Center for Health Statistics, 2006). Unfortunately, the physical activity participation rates of African American females remain low (CDC, 2007b) despite the well-documented association between aerobic exercise and improved physical (United States Department of Health & Human Services, 1998) and psychological well-being (Diener & Seligman, 2004).
The practical importance of psychological well-being, defined as positive mood, engagement, and life satisfaction (Seligman, 2002) is well documented. Higher well-being and positive mood correlate with greater longevity and lower rates of non-fatal heart attack (Kubzansky, Sparrow, Vokonas, & Kawachi, 2001), improved immune function (Cohen, Doyle, Turner, Alper, & Skoner, 2003), better physical (Ostir, Markides, Black & Goodwin, 2000) and mental health (Diener & Seligman, 2004), lower all-cause mortality (Fiscella & Franks, 1997), and lower stress reactivity (Smith, Ruiz, & Uchino, 2004). Importantly, people who report higher levels of well-being are healthier (Diener & Seligman, 2004) and exercise more (Lox, Burns, Treasure, & Wasley, 1999) compared to those reporting lower levels of well-being. Research also suggests that exercise related affective changes are an important aspect of exercise adherence (Sallis & Hovell, 1990; Thayer, 1996), but few strategies are available to assist professionals in prescribing physical activity to increase the adoption and maintenance of exercise programs, largely due to the lack of data available to develop them (Dishman, 2001). This lack of information hinders efforts to promote the physical and psychological benefits of exercise in African American females.
Studies show that acute aerobic exercise improves affect (e.g., Cox, Thomas, Hinton, & Donahue, 2006), although several factors appear to moderate this relation. First, changes in positive affect, such as self-reported states of energy and vigor, are more consistent than changes in negative affect such as depression and anxiety (Thayer, 1996; Watson, 2000). Second, participants with lower pre-exercise positive and higher pre-exercise negative affect tend to improve more following aerobic exercise compared to those with more favorable pre-exercise profiles (e.g., Blanchard, Rodgers, Courneya & Spence, 2002), a relationship that appears to hold for active and sedentary participants (Reed, Berg, Latin, & La Voie, 1998). Third, high intensity exercise generally produces less desirable post-exercise affect, particularly for those less fit (Ekkekakis & Petruzzello, 1999). Fourth, positive affective changes are seen with durations from 10 to 30 minutes (e.g., Hansen, Stevens, & Coast, 2001), although shorter bouts likely result in better exercise adherence (Jakicic, Wing, Butler, & Robertson, 1995). Finally, the effects of exercise mode are less clear. For example, Merns (1994) found no difference in affective responses for several sport activities, while Thomas, Londeree, Lawson, Ziogas, and Cox (1994) reported that 60 minutes of stationary cycling resulted in increased negative and reduced positive affect compared to jogging. But the difference found by Thomas et al. may not hold for short duration exercise designed to improve adherence in sedentary persons. Mode preference effects are also inconsistent as some studies indicate that mode preference moderates post-exercise affect (e.g., Miller, Bartholomew, & Springer, 2005), while others do not (e.g., Lox, O'Connor, Woodford, & Jackson, 2002). Mode preference effects, however, are likely tied to prior exercise history and therefore more apt to produce differential effects in active than sedentary individuals.
Theoretically, the dual-mode model (Ekkekakis, 2003) offers a basis for understanding acute exercise-affect relationships. …