The effect of intensity of recommendations on adherence to a healthy diet and exercise and subsequent effects on working memory and well-being

Imogen Tijou, Carolyn Mair, Sophie McKensie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Adhering to exercise regimes benefits health, subjective well-being (SWB) and academic achievement, but evidence suggests that recommending high, rather moderate, intensity exercise can have a detrimental effect on adherence in specific populations. The effect of different intensity recommendations of consuming fruit and vegetables (FV) is less well documented. Evidence on aging and child populations support the positive correlation between activity and cognition, however research on this relationship in young populations is sparse. The project aimed to determine the optimal intensity of recommendations in health behaviours in a student population and the effect of these on WM and SWB. A between-subjects design tested adherence to recommendations, WM and SWB measured before and after the 6-week intervention. Student participants were randomly allocated to (i) Moderate FV (4 portions/day), (ii) High FV (7 portions/day), (iii) Moderate-intensity exercise (30 minutes 5 times/week), or (iv) High-intensity exercise (30 minutes 5 times/week) groups. All participants completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), an assessment of FV consumption, the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS) and a WM task. Groups 1 and 2 recorded FV portions eaten daily. Groups 3 and 4 recorded weekly exercise. After the intervention, participants completed a second WM task and the PANAS. The results are currently being analysed, but preliminary findings suggest the hypotheses were supported. We conclude that participants are more likely to adhere to moderate programmes and moreover to diet rather than exercise behaviour. Furthermore, increased engagement in health behaviours improves WM and SWB.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBPS Annual Conference, 12-13 April 2012, London
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of intensity of recommendations on adherence to a healthy diet and exercise and subsequent effects on working memory and well-being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this