Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Carbon Dioxide Reactivity among Individuals with High Anxiety Sensitivity

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Chelsea A. Price (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/
Advisor
Joshua Broman-Fulks

Abstract: Anxiety sensitivity, or the fear of anxiety and anxiety-related sensations, is a risk factor for the development and maintenance of panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Aerobic exercise has been shown to be effective in reducing high anxiety sensitivity by exposing individuals to feared bodily sensations. Research has also demonstrated that an acute bout of aerobic exercise can reduce reactivity to CO2 inhalation in both nonclinical samples and panic disorder participants. The present study examined the effects of acute aerobic exercise on reactivity to CO2 inhalation among individuals with high anxiety sensitivity. Forty-five university students with high anxiety sensitivity (Anxiety Sensitivity Index-3 scores > 17) were randomly assigned to either 20 minutes of aerobic exercise or no exercise, after which they completed a 35% CO2/ 65% O2 inhalation task. Significant reductions in ASI-3 scores were reported after exercise/rest for both groups, though the groups did not significantly differ. Both groups also reported significantly greater panic symptoms after the CO2 inhalation, though, again, no group differences emerged. Although brief aerobic exercise was not found to significantly reduce anxiety sensitivity or acute panic symptoms following CO2 inhalation, implications of these results and potential directions for further research are discussed.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Price, C.A. (2010). Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Carbon Dioxide Reactivity among Individuals with High Anxiety Sensitivity. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010
Keywords
Anxiety sensitivity, aerobic exercise, carbon dioxide inhalation