Acute effects of self-paced walking on urges to smoke during temporary smoking abstinence.

School of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon EX1 2LU, UK.
Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 09/2005; 181(1):1-7. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-005-2216-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent research highlights the need to extend our understanding of how exercise may aid smoking cessation, through exploration of different modes, intensity and duration of exercise.
The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of a 1-mile self-paced walk on different measures of urges to smoke following temporary smoking abstinence.
In a within-subject counterbalanced design, following 15 h of smoking abstinence, participants (N=15) exercised or sat passively on separate days. A single-item measure of strength of desire to smoke was administered during, immediately post, and at 10 and 20 min post-treatment. The two-factor Questionnaire for Smoking Urges, involving intention and desire to engage in smoking behaviour which is anticipated as pleasant, enjoyable and satisfying (desire-behave), and anticipation of relief from negative affect through smoking (desire-affect relief), was administered before and 20 min post-treatment.
A two-way repeated-measures MANOVA revealed a significant overall interaction effect for time by condition for strength of desire to smoke, and the two QSU scales. Two-way repeated-measures univariate ANOVAs revealed significant interaction effects for time by condition for each of the three urges to smoke measures. Planned contrasts revealed that exercise reduced cigarette cravings for up to 20 min after exercise, in comparison with the control condition. ANCOVAs revealed mixed support for independent effects of exercise on all measures of urges to smoke.
A self-paced walk, at a low intensity, lasting 15-20 min can have a rapid and measurable positive effect on both single and multi-item measures of urges to smoke, lasting at least 20 min, during temporary smoking abstinence.

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