Aerobic exercise has many outcomes of an individual performing in activities that increases their intensity for a certain amount of time. A common outcome people assume initially is the ability of losing weight. Along with that, it helps them develop more muscles in the body. Aerobic exercise has many more physical benefits of doing it on a regular basis. At the same time, it effects state anxiety as well. State anxiety is defined as the temporary experience of emotional arousal when encountering situations or demands subjectively interpreted as threatening or dangerous (Schlicht, 1994; Schwarzer, 1997).
According to Emily Carruth and Nadine Taylor of South Dakota State University, state anxiety is a common factor for college students to experience during the academic year. Students have an increase of this when they deal with stressful situations such as memorizing large content in a small amount of time, their grades, and upcoming exams. When an individuals has feelings of state anxiety, they could also feel depressed, desperate, or even have thoughts of suicide.
Carruth and Taylor comes up with an experiment to conduct on college age students to decrease their feelings of state nxiety, and they use the idea of doing aerobic exercise on a regular basis. Past studies, like Kim and Kim (2007) and Bartholomew and Linder (1998) has proven that performing aerobic exercise does decrease the feelings feeling stressed, depressed, and anxious. Past experiences has a primary of focus on adults with stressful lifestyles, but Carruth and Taylor wants their primary focus to be directed towards undergraduate students.
To conduct this experiment, Carruth and Taylor will send an email to all students of South Dakota State University and ask if they wish to participate in a study for the psychological epartment on campus. The participants will receive gift cards for the bookstore and raffle tickets to win one of four grand prizes. Once they receive volunteer participants, they will have all participants complete three tests that measures the anxiety, stress, and depression levels of each individuals. Then they will split up the participants to an experimental and control group.
The theory behind this study is to prove, with the assistance of college students, that doing aerobic exercises on a regular basis decreases the feelings of state anxiety for a college student. Before conducting this survey, Carruth and Taylor assigns the participants to complete three self-rated tests. Two of the tests are the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the Zung Self-rated Survey (SAS) which measures the anxiety levels for each participant currently. The last tests is the Bech Depression Inventory (BDI) which indicates how depressed or not depressed each participant is going into this study.
With telling the participants whether they are in the experimental or controlled group, each of them are emailed to either wear athletic clothes or bring their homework. For three total sessions, the experimental participants completes a full warm-up and then a 20 minute walk or job. As for the controlled group, each participant spend 30 minutes working on their studies and assignments or worked on word puzzles if they had nothing to do. After the second and third sessions, all participants completes all three tests to see the differences in their results while doing and after completing the study.
At the end, Carruth and Taylor debriefs and discusses the scientific purpose of the study. I believe that Carruth and Taylor chooses this approach because they are proving their goals by aving college students participate in ways that increase and decreases stress. By conducting the final conclusions for this study, authors took each of the tests scores from both and calculated the average scores and standard deviations for each results. Once that’s completed, they compared the results for each time the participants records it.
For the BAI, both groups does decrease their results from beginning to end but the experimental group has a more significant decrease than the control group. For the SAS scores, it does not show significant difference between the groups. The experimental and control groups shows little to no difference between the average scores from before and after the study. These results does not sustain any difference between the groups. As for the BDI results going into the study, the experimental group results in higher depression scores than the control group.
By the end of the study, the experimental group significantly decreases their results while the control group shows barely any difference afterwards. Overall, both groups decrease their scores on the BAI and BDI with the experimental group displaying a large decrease in the verage anxiety scores than the control group. The results from the SAS does not vary between the two with similar differences and scores. Overall, I do agree that aerobic exercise does make an impact on the state anxiety level of a college student.
At the same time, I do believe that this study proves correctly on how their hypothesis on aerobic exercise makes a difference for the state of anxiety of a college student is true. This survey only indicates that exercise decreases state anxiety, not completely getting rid of somebody dealing with it. Whether it is huge crisis r a small hassle, college students are always going to face some kind of stress, which does not surprise me that the SAS shows no difference between the two groups.
On the other hand, anxiety is a bigger issue that can result in a college student dealing with depression. Therefore, according to these result, doing aerobic exercise on a regular basis significantly decreases the state anxiety and depression level of a college student. This study Carruth and Taylor evaluates to similar methods and ideas from our class textbook, Exploring Psychology: Ninth Edition, which was written by David Myers. A way that the uthors conducts their experiment was using the experimental and control groups.
According the first chapter of the textbook, the experimental group is the group that is exposed to the treatment to one version o the independent variable. The control group is the group that is not exposed and contrasts with the experimental group and serves as a comparison for evaluating the effect of the treatment (Myers, 22). In other words, the experimental group supports the hypothesis of the study and the control group does not. At the end, they compare the results from both group to claim if their hypothesis is true or not. This study and the textbook do cover the topic in a similar.
The authors takes the participants and place them in groups where one supports their theory on how aerobic exercise by having them do three sessions of 20 minute walks or job (experimental group). At the same time, they take the other half of the group and place them into a study in which they are familiar with the idea of continuing their studies and homework (control group). Although the main focus was discussing the correlation between aerobic exercise and state anxiety, the authors also display two other factors, which is stress and depression.
In the 11th chapter of the textbook, they define stress as the process of appraising and responding to a threatening or challenge event. This falls into three main types: catastrophes, significant life changes, and daily hassles. A way the book talks about preventing stress is performing in aerobic exercise, which is a sustained activity that raises heart rate and oxygen consumption. It helps prevent getting a heart disease, increase blood flow, keep blood vessels more open, and lower both blood pressure and blood pressure reaction stress (Ford, 2002; Manson, 2002).
I do agree that exercising on a regular basis oes prevent an individual from feeling stressed. I believe that the authors are trying to conducts that aerobic exercise decreases all three factors of anxiety, depression, and stress. On the other hand, their final results from the SAS does not support that aerobic exercise decrease stress because there is no significant difference between the two groups. The main focus on this study was finding a way to prevent anxiety. In the textbook, Myers discuses anxiety disorders, which is characterized by distressing, persistent anxiety or maladaptive behaviors that reduce anxiety.
Some causes of obtaining an anxiety disorder includes fear conditioning, observational learning, genetic/evolutionary predispositions, and brain involvement. Although Carruth and Taylor has anxiety as their main focus on the study, they were particular focusing on state anxiety. They define this as individuals who experience feelings of depressions, desperation, and having suicidal thoughts. Here, both the textbook and the author have the same broad idea of anxiety. On the other hand, the authors draws their attention specifically on state anxiety and the textbook mentions other actors of anxiety and causes to it.
Another study that has a similar idea is by Bonnie G. Barger of Bowling Green University and Robert W. Motl of the University of Georgia. In their article, they discuss how previous article correlate the relationship between moods individuals go through and the amount of exercising. They discuss how many of the past experiments use the Profile of Mood States that is developed in 1971, which is a 65-item questionnaire that asses a person’s moods. The participants of the study would take this before and after their assigned exercises.
The test contains six subscales to measure; tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, vigor- activity, fatigue-inertia, and confusion-bewilderment. Researches looks at both the total score of the whole test and the total score of each subscale to see where the moods of each individual currently stands. The authors discusses the advantages of using this test, like how it’s useful tool to indicate mood fluctuations associated with exercise and how the test is diverse with different types of moods individuals go through with the six subscales they focus on.
Along with that, there are isadvantages that draws back from this test, like how five out of the six moods are negative characteristics (depression, anger, failure, and confusion). Then they present a table of results from past experiences of people performing different kinds of exercises, like cycling, running, yoga, and more, the genders that participates in each exercise, age mean, duration, intensity, and POMS subscale change from before and after the experiments. Although these two article shares the same idea, they approach their overall theories in different ways. One difference between the two is that the experiment itself.
For Carruth and Taylor, they focus on people performing in aerobic exerci jogging and walking for 20 minutes and calculate their anxiety levels. As for Barger and Motl, they direct their focus on mood changes and how that applies when performing in some kind of exercise. Another difference between the two is that Carruth and Taylor has their own results by conducting their own experiment using a control and experimental group of 24 undergrad students, using accurate and current results to prove their theory of aerobic exercise decrease state anxiety of a college student.
On the other hand, Carger and Motl pulls out results from past experiences that uses the POMS and creates a table showing overall results for each category and which sub scale did the participants decrease the most in. Coming from being involved in athletics and exercising throughout my entire life, I do believe in this theory of aerobic exercise decreases anxiety. In high school, while running cross country and track, I will get stressed out once in a while but staying active with running helps me prevent that.
Typically between each season, I would take two weeks off of any exercise so my body could recover to train for the next. Coincidentally, my two weeks off lies around the same as our semester final exams, which is also the most stressful time of the semester. I would still perform my best on each exam, but it is aggravating freaking out about the fact of taking it and fearing I would fail. I am currently majoring in secondary education, so I will be teaching high school mathematics, hopefully, when I graduate from NCC.
I can easily apply this applications towards y field because the high school students will be stressed out with all the homework assignments, exams, and projects that is thrown at them, just like me. To promote the theory of this study, I would encourage my students from the beginning to get into some exercise routine on a regular basis. Throughout the semester while teaching, I will possibly stop my lecture and have my students stretch out and do some jumping jacks just to get their blood flowing through the brain more and retain their attention towards the lecture.
When it comes to close to the final exams period, I would still encourage kids to continue taking time off studying and exercise. For those who just finish a sports season, I would promote other ways they can active in during their break. These include doing yoga, 10 minute workouts, walking for a small amount of time, etc. I know exactly what my students will go through because I was in their shoes (and still am right now being on the track team here). A source of media I’ve been that sells this theory is from an article that is written by Sophia Breene in Shape Magazine.
She discusses 13 mental benefits of exercising. One of their points on why people should exercise because it alleviate anxiety. She claims that going for a 20-minute run releases more chemicals that helps people’s anxiety disorders calm down than sitting in a warm bubble bath. Other benefits she discuss are reducing stress, increasing brainpower and memory, prevent cognitive decline, and more. This media source tags along with the article because it supports the idea of decreasing anxiety disorders. At the same time, it provides more mental positive outcomes on why people should be exercising.