Functional high-intensity exercise is more effective in acutely increasing working memory than aerobic walking: an exploratory randomized, controlled trial

  • Aerobic and resistance exercise acutely increase cognitive performance (CP). High-intensity functional training (HIFT) combines the characteristics of both regimes but its effect on CP is unclear. Thirty-five healthy individuals (26.7 ± 3.6 years, 18 females) were randomly allocated to three groups. The first (HIFT) performed a functional whole-body workout at maximal effort and in circuit format, while a second walked at 60% of the heart rate reserve (WALK). The third group remained physically inactive reading a book (CON). Before and after the 15-min intervention period, CP was assessed with the Stroop Test, Trail Making Test and Digit Span Test. Repeated-measures ANOVAs and post-hoc 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were used to detect time/group differences. A significant group*time interaction was found for the backwards condition of the Digit Span Test (p = 0.04) and according to the 95% CI, HIFT was superior to WALK and CON. Analysis of the sum score of the Digit Span Test and the incongruent condition of the Stroop Test, furthermore, revealed main effects for time (p < 0.05) with HIFT being the only intervention improving CP. No differences were found for the Trail Making Test (p > 0.05). In conclusion, HIFT represents an appropriate method to acutely improve working memory, potentially being superior to moderate aerobic-type exercise.

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Author:Jan WilkeORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Scientific reports
Publisher:Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/07/23
Date of first Publication:2020/07/23
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/10/06
Tag:Cognitive neuroscience; Health care
Issue:art. 12335
Page Number:7
First Page:1
Last Page:7
Tis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 79 Sport, Spiele, Unterhaltung / 790 Freizeitgestaltung, darstellende Künste, Sport
Open-Access-Publikationsfonds:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0