Project

mentalFIT: Preventive effects of exercise on psychopathological symptoms and related constructs

Goal: Physical activity has positive effects on mental health. Several studies report positive effects of a single bout of exercise positive affect and rumination. In addition, first results show positive effects of regular exercise on the subjective and objective stress experience. Cross-sectional and cohort studies report preventive effects of exercise on mental illness. However, up to date there are only few experimental studies that assess the long term preventive effects of exercise. This might be especially beneficial to college students, who are highly exposed to stress and have a higher prevalence of mental the general population. Physical activity levels, however, decline in the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Therefore, we designed a randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of two different types of exercise (endurance sports, ball sports) in comparison to a passive control group for college students. The change in physical fitness, psychopathological symptoms, subjective and objective stress experience will be assessed pre- and post-intervention as well as at follow-up. In addition, we will assess acute effects on mood and rumination after the exercise sessions. The intervention groups will receive six weeks of supervised exercise sessions (2x/week). In addition, they will receive (online) counseling that promotes the consistent continuation of the physical activity.

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Britta Seiffer
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Physical activity has positive effects on mental health. Several studies report positive effects of a single bout of exercise positive affect and rumination. In addition, first results show positive effects of regular exercise on the subjective and objective stress experience. Cross-sectional and cohort studies report preventive effects of exercise on mental illness. However, up to date there are only few experimental studies that assess the long term preventive effects of exercise. This might be especially beneficial to college students, who are highly exposed to stress and have a higher prevalence of mental the general population. Physical activity levels, however, decline in the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Therefore, we designed a randomized controlled trial to investigate the effects of two different types of exercise (endurance sports, ball sports) in comparison to a passive control group for college students. The change in physical fitness, psychopathological symptoms, subjective and objective stress experience will be assessed pre- and post-intervention as well as at follow-up. In addition, we will assess acute effects on mood and rumination after the exercise sessions. The intervention groups will receive six weeks of supervised exercise sessions (2x/week). In addition, they will receive (online) counseling that promotes the consistent continuation of the physical activity.