Study aim: To determine anxiolytic effects of acute physical exertions in relation to the initial anxiety state and trait in women.
Material and methods: A group of 163 women aged 16 - 56 years, attending fitness clubs in Warsaw, participated in the study. They selected a single exercise to perform - strength, aerobic or mixed, lasting 30 to over 60 min. They were requested to fill Spielberger's STAI questionnaires for determining the state anxiety (pre- and post-exercise) and trait anxiety (post-exercise). Questionnaire results were converted to logarithms, pre-post differences were computed and correlated with age, trait anxiety and pre-exercise state anxiety. Multiple correlation and the contributions of independent variables to the total variance of pre-post differences were also computed.
Results: Pre-post differences in state anxiety were significantly correlated with pre-exercise state anxiety (r = 0.514; p<0.001) but not with either age or trait anxiety. As shown by regression equation, pre-exercise state anxiety up to 28 may, on the average, be associated with post-exercise increases. The contribution of pre-exercise state anxiety to the total variance of pre-post differences amounted to 27% (p<0.001), those of other variables not exceeding 5%.
Conclusions: The fact that subjects with high pre-exercise state anxiety are prone to its highest decrease post-exercise ought to be considered when designing leisure activity programmes.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.