Aerobic fitness level and reactivity to psychosocial stress: Physiological, biochemical, and subjective measures

D. Sinyor, S. G. Schwartz, F. Peronnet, G. Brisson, P. Seraganian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aerobic fitness is associated with numerous physiological adaptations which permit physical stress to be coped with more efficiently. The present experiment examined whether aerobic fitness influences emotional response. Heart rate, biochemical measures (catecholamines, cortisol, prolactin, lactic acid), and self-reported arousal and anxiety were monitored in 15 highly trained and 15 untrained subjects at various points before, during and following exposure to a series of psychosocial stressors. Heart rate and subjective arousal level increased markedly during the stressors in both groups. Trained subjects showed higher levels of norepinephrine and prolactin early in the stress period, more rapid heart rate recovery following the stressors, and lower levels of anxiety at the conclusion of the session. This more rapid heart rate and subjective recovery from psychosocial stress, suggests that aerobically trained individuals may be capable of faster recovery in both physiological and subjective dimensions of emotionality. The differences in reactivity profiles between the aerobically trained and untrained were discussed in light of models that have dealt with the adaptiveness of emotional response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-217
Number of pages13
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Volume45
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

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