Improving aerobic capacity in healthy older adults does not necessarily lead to improved cognitive performance.
The effects of aerobic exercise training in a sample of 85 older adults were investigated. Ss were assigned randomly to either an aerobic exercise group, a nonaerobic exercise (yoga) group, or a waiting-list control group. Following 16 weeks of the group-specific protocol, all of the older Ss received 16 weeks of aerobic exercise training. The older adults demonstrated a significant increase in aerobic capacity (cardiorespiratory fitness). Performance on reaction-time tests of attention and memory retrieval was slower for the older adults than for a comparison group of 24 young adults, and there was no improvement in the older adults' performance on these tests as a function of aerobic exercise training. Results suggest that exercise-related changes in older adults' cognitive performance are due either to extended periods of training or to cohort differences between physically active and sedentary individuals.
Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center., ,
Aged, 80 and over
Pattern Recognition, Visual
Pub Type(s)Clinical Trial
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.