Physical fitness, health, and cardiovascular recovery from psychological and physiological stress in women
Flood, Karen R.
Master of Arts
MetadataShow full item record
The present study examined the relationship of fitness and exercise to psychological state, health behaviours, and cardiovascular recovery from stress in a sample of 79 females aged 17-36 years. The study was conducted during two sessions. Fitness was appraised with the Canadian Standardized Test of Fitness (1986), modified to include a prediction of aerobic power (MV02) from a sub-maximal workload on a bicycle ergometer. Cardiovascular recovery from both a mental and a physical stressor was measured. Questionnaires which assessed physical activity, health behaviours, life stress, mood, quality of life, and perceived exertion during the stressors were given. Few correlations between fitness and exercise behaviours, and health and psychological measures were found. Fitness (MV02) was significantly correlated with faster systolic blood pressure recovery following the mental and physical stressors. However, MV02 was not related to heart rate recovery; nor were the other fitness and exercise variables clearly related to cardiovascular recovery. The findings suggest caution in concluding that aerobic fitness yields or mediates clear psychological or stress-related benefits.