Acute effect of combined exercise with aerobic and resistance exercises on executive function

Ying Chu Chen, Ruei Hong Li, Feng Tzu Chen, Chih Han Wu, Chung Yu Chen*, Che Chien Chang*, Yu Kai Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Recent studies indicate that acute exercise, whether aerobic exercise (AE) or resistance exercise (RE), improves cognitive function. However, the effects on cognitive function of combined exercise (CE), involving both AE and RE in an exercise session, remain unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of acute CE on cognitive function. Design. Within-subject design with counterbalancing. Methods. Fifteen healthy men with a sedentary lifestyle in the previous three months were recruited. The participants were assessed for muscular fitness after performing four upper body exercises for a 10-repetition maximum and underwent a submaximal aerobic fitness assessment for VO 2peak and corresponding workload (watts). They were then assigned to a CE, RE, or sitting control (SC) session in counterbalanced order and were assessed with the Stroop Color and Word Test (SCWT) after each session. Results. Acute CE led to a significantly shorter response time compared to SC (p < .05) in the SCWT, wherein there were no significant differences between acute CE and RE (p = 1.00). Additionally, no significant differences in the accuracy rate were observed across the different sessions (ps > .05). Conclusion. A single session of moderate-intensity CE improved response time in the SCWT, comparable to RE. CE shows promise for enhancing cognitive function, warranting further research on its benefits and other exercise modalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15768
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Combined Exercise
  • Executive Function
  • Inhibition Control
  • Interference effect
  • Stroop Color World Test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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