The relationship between exercise and the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in military populations

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lauren Marie Williams (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Etnier

Abstract: Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD has been a major topic of discussion within the military community over the last decade. Very little research currently examines the relationship between exercise and PTSD, however research has been able to establish a positive relationship between exercise and each of the disorders associated with PTSD; depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Since exercise has independently impacted the three primary disorders that often present themselves with PTSD, it seems logical that a positive relationship should exist between exercise and the symptomatology of PTSD when evaluating them together. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between exercise and the symptoms of PTSD while also evaluating the relationship between exercise and depression, anxiety and panic attacks in military populations. It was hypothesized that a relationship would exist between exercise and PTSD in military populations. This research also addressed each symptom of PTSD individually. By using regression analysis, it was projected that there would be a relationship between exercise and PTSD. IPAQ was found to not be a significant predictor of PTSD, depression, or anxiety. Significant relationships were found however, for those who self-reported a diagnosis of PTSD. PTSD diagnosis was a significant predictor for IPAQ scores on PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Finally, panic disorders also were a significant predictor of IPAQ scores on PTSD, depression and anxiety in those who had reported previous panic attack history. While results indicate non-significance, it suggests that military may not benefit further from exercise like non-military populations do and further research evaluating exercise more specifically in larger military populations is necessary.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Exercise, Exercise Psychology, Military, Military Wellness, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder $x Exercise therapy
Exercise $x Psychological aspects

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