The Effects Of Exercise On Body Vigilance

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Correy Lynn Dowd (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Joshua Broman-Fulks

Abstract: Body vigilance may serve as an important vulnerability factor for the development and maintenance of anxiety pathology. Increased awareness of body sensations has been proposed to relate to anxiety sensitivity (i.e., fears of anxiety sensations) and contribute to panic attacks. Consistent with contemporary models of anxiety disorders, research suggests that individuals who experience recurrent panic attacks exhibit biases toward threat-relevant cues and interventions that reduce attention to threat-relevant stimuli reduce anxiety and panic symptomology. Physical exercise has been shown to exert anxiolytic and anti-panic effects, presumably in part via exposure-generated reductions in fear of relevant physiological sensations. However, recent research suggests that exposure-based interventions generate reductions in vigilance for threat information, and changes in threat vigilance appear to precede and predict reductions in anxiety symptoms. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of regular exercise on body vigilance among individuals with high body vigilance and anxiety sensitivity. Twenty-seven non-exercising participants were randomized to complete 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, resistance training, or rest. Results indicated all conditions demonstrated statistically significant reductions in body vigilance. Results are discussed with regard to their implications in the use of exercise interventions for anxiety and related forms of psychopathology.

Additional Information

Dowd, C. (2017). The Effects Of Exercise On Body Vigilance. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2017
Body vigilance, Anxiety sensitivity, Exercise, Anxiety

Email this document to