Do Aerobic Exercise and Mindfulness Act Synergistically to Mitigate Psychological Distress in College Students Experiencing High Levels of Stress? Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Zieff, Gabriel
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Exercise and Sport Science
  • Purpose: To assess whether there is a synergistic beneficial effect of aerobic exercise (AE) and mindfulness meditation (MM), compared to effects of MM alone, on stress and related variables in high-stress young adults. Methods: 32 high-stress young adults were randomized to a four-week MM, AE+MM, or control intervention. Perceived stress (PSSQ), and anxiety/depression (DASSQ) were assessed at baseline, and after weeks 1 and 4. A randomized sub-sample from each group underwent physiological testing at baseline and post-intervention. Results: No significant interactions were found (PSS: p=0.12; DASS: p=0.21; heart rate: p=0.50; systolic blood pressure: p=0.90; diastolic blood pressure: p=0.16; arterial stiffness: p=0.90; heart rate variability: p=0.53). PSS and DASS decreased from baseline to post in MM (PSS: ↓27%; DASS: ↓43%) and AE+MM (PSS: ↓34%; DASS: ↓40%). Little change occurred in Control (PSS: ↓8%; DASS: ↓ 4%). Conclusion: MM may be as effective as AE+MM in combatting psychological distress in young adults.
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Hackney, Anthony
  • Frank, Barnett
  • Stoner, Lee
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2018

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