The immediate and sustained effects of acute exercise on planning aspect of executive function

Tsung Min Hung, Chia Liang Tsai, Feng Tzu Chen, Chun Chih Wang, Yu Kai Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The purpose of this study was to clarify the immediate and sustained effects of an acute bout of exercise on the planning aspects of executive function. Design: This study used a 2×4 true experimental design. Method: Forty participants were randomly assigned to either the exercise or control groups and completed the Tower of London task prior to, immediately following, 30min after, and 60min after cessation of a 30min, moderate intensity cycling exercise. Results: Acute exercise positively impacted the total move score, which reflects planning efficiency, immediately after the cessation of exercise. Acute exercise also led to longer total initiation times, which were linked to better response inhibition of planning at 30 and 60min after the cessation of exercise. Conclusion: Acute exercise benefits planning, and the types of planning and the time points at which they were assessed modulate the relationship between acute exercise and executive function. Exercise-induced physiological and biological fluctuations have been proposed to explain the effects present immediately after exercise, and the mechanisms of such effects warrant further exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-736
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sept


  • Inhibition
  • Physical activity
  • Tower of London task
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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