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Exercise and cognition: Acute effects and effects of a 9 weeks exercise program


To investigate the effects of aerobic exercise on cognition in adolescents aged 16-19 years. Project 1) To assess the influence of intensity and duration of aerobic exercise on the acute effect on cognition. Project 2) To assess the effects of a 9 weeks aerobic exercise program on cognition. Furthermore to assess the influence of exercise intensity.

Method Project 1:

The study was conducted as a randomized controlled crossover study including 52 adolescents. Six conditions were included; one control condition (30 minutes of rest) and 5 cycling conditions modifying exercise intensity and exercise duration. Conditions were randomized and counterbalanced between subjects and completed with 4 days intervals. A modified Flanker Task and an AX-CPT test were completed 6-8 minutes following each condition. Furthermore, blood samples have been obtained following each session.

Method project 2:

The study was conducted as a randomized controlled trial including 121 adolescents. Subjects were randomized to three groups; one control group, one group exercising at moderate intensity and one group exercising at high intensity (including interval training). The exercise programs consisted of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (bicycling or running) three times a week for nine weeks. A modified Flanker Task, an AX-CPT test, an intelligence test and physiological measures (including blood samples) were completed at baseline at nine weeks follow-up.


Project 1 was conducted in November/December 2013. Project 2 was conducted in March/April/Maj 2014.


Anne Kær Thorsen

Last Updated 16.08.2016