Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults: A three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition

Michael J. Wheeler, Daniel J. Green, Kathryn A. Ellis, Ester Cerin, Ilkka Heinonen, Louise H. Naylor, Robyn Larsen, Patrik Wennberg, Carl Johan Boraxbekk, Jaye Lewis, Nina Eikelis, Nicola T. Lautenschlager, Bronwyn A. Kingwell, Gavin Lambert, Neville Owen, David W. Dunstan

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Abstract

Background: Sedentary behaviour is associated with impaired cognition, whereas exercise can acutely improve cognition. Objective: We compared the effects of a morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise, with and without subsequent light-intensity walking breaks from sitting, on cognition in older adults. Methods: Sedentary overweight/obese older adults with normal cognitive function (n=67, 67±7 years, 31.2±4.1 kg/m 2 ) completed three conditions (6-day washout): SIT (sitting): uninterrupted sitting (8 hours, control); EX+SIT (exercise + sitting): sitting (1 hour), moderate-intensity walking (30 min), uninterrupted sitting (6.5 hours); and EX+BR (exercise + breaks): sitting (1 hour), moderate-intensity walking (30 min), sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 min of light-intensity walking (6.5 hours). Cognitive testing (Cogstate) was completed at four time points assessing psychomotor function, attention, executive function, visual learning and working memory. Serum brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) was assessed at six time points. The 8-hour net area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each outcome. Results: Working memory net AUC z-score·hour (95% CI) was improved in EX+BR with a z-score of +28 ('26 to +81), relative to SIT, '25 ('79 to +29, p=0.04 vs EX+BR). Executive function net AUC was improved in EX+SIT, '8 (' 71 to +55), relative to SIT, '80 ('142 to '17, p=0.03 vs EX+SIT). Serum BDNF net AUC ng/mL·hour (95% CI) was increased in both EX+SIT, +171 ('449 to +791, p=0.03 vs SIT), and EX+BR, +139 ('481 to +759, p=0.045 vs SIT), relative to SIT, '227 ('851 to +396). Conclusion: A morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise improves serum BDNF and working memory or executive function in older adults, depending on whether or not subsequent sitting is also interrupted with intermittent light-intensity walking. Trial registration number: ACTRN12614000737639.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2019

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Executive Function
Short-Term Memory
Cross-Over Studies
Cognition
Walking
Area Under Curve
Exercise
Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Light
Serum
Learning
brain-derived growth factor

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Wheeler, Michael J. ; Green, Daniel J. ; Ellis, Kathryn A. ; Cerin, Ester ; Heinonen, Ilkka ; Naylor, Louise H. ; Larsen, Robyn ; Wennberg, Patrik ; Boraxbekk, Carl Johan ; Lewis, Jaye ; Eikelis, Nina ; Lautenschlager, Nicola T. ; Kingwell, Bronwyn A. ; Lambert, Gavin ; Owen, Neville ; Dunstan, David W. / Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults : A three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition. In: British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2019.
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title = "Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults: A three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition",
abstract = "Background: Sedentary behaviour is associated with impaired cognition, whereas exercise can acutely improve cognition. Objective: We compared the effects of a morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise, with and without subsequent light-intensity walking breaks from sitting, on cognition in older adults. Methods: Sedentary overweight/obese older adults with normal cognitive function (n=67, 67±7 years, 31.2±4.1 kg/m 2 ) completed three conditions (6-day washout): SIT (sitting): uninterrupted sitting (8 hours, control); EX+SIT (exercise + sitting): sitting (1 hour), moderate-intensity walking (30 min), uninterrupted sitting (6.5 hours); and EX+BR (exercise + breaks): sitting (1 hour), moderate-intensity walking (30 min), sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 min of light-intensity walking (6.5 hours). Cognitive testing (Cogstate) was completed at four time points assessing psychomotor function, attention, executive function, visual learning and working memory. Serum brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) was assessed at six time points. The 8-hour net area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each outcome. Results: Working memory net AUC z-score·hour (95{\%} CI) was improved in EX+BR with a z-score of +28 ('26 to +81), relative to SIT, '25 ('79 to +29, p=0.04 vs EX+BR). Executive function net AUC was improved in EX+SIT, '8 (' 71 to +55), relative to SIT, '80 ('142 to '17, p=0.03 vs EX+SIT). Serum BDNF net AUC ng/mL·hour (95{\%} CI) was increased in both EX+SIT, +171 ('449 to +791, p=0.03 vs SIT), and EX+BR, +139 ('481 to +759, p=0.045 vs SIT), relative to SIT, '227 ('851 to +396). Conclusion: A morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise improves serum BDNF and working memory or executive function in older adults, depending on whether or not subsequent sitting is also interrupted with intermittent light-intensity walking. Trial registration number: ACTRN12614000737639.",
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author = "Wheeler, {Michael J.} and Green, {Daniel J.} and Ellis, {Kathryn A.} and Ester Cerin and Ilkka Heinonen and Naylor, {Louise H.} and Robyn Larsen and Patrik Wennberg and Boraxbekk, {Carl Johan} and Jaye Lewis and Nina Eikelis and Lautenschlager, {Nicola T.} and Kingwell, {Bronwyn A.} and Gavin Lambert and Neville Owen and Dunstan, {David W.}",
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Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults : A three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition. / Wheeler, Michael J.; Green, Daniel J.; Ellis, Kathryn A.; Cerin, Ester; Heinonen, Ilkka; Naylor, Louise H.; Larsen, Robyn; Wennberg, Patrik; Boraxbekk, Carl Johan; Lewis, Jaye; Eikelis, Nina; Lautenschlager, Nicola T.; Kingwell, Bronwyn A.; Lambert, Gavin; Owen, Neville; Dunstan, David W.

In: British Journal of Sports Medicine, 29.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults

T2 - A three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition

AU - Wheeler, Michael J.

AU - Green, Daniel J.

AU - Ellis, Kathryn A.

AU - Cerin, Ester

AU - Heinonen, Ilkka

AU - Naylor, Louise H.

AU - Larsen, Robyn

AU - Wennberg, Patrik

AU - Boraxbekk, Carl Johan

AU - Lewis, Jaye

AU - Eikelis, Nina

AU - Lautenschlager, Nicola T.

AU - Kingwell, Bronwyn A.

AU - Lambert, Gavin

AU - Owen, Neville

AU - Dunstan, David W.

PY - 2019/4/29

Y1 - 2019/4/29

N2 - Background: Sedentary behaviour is associated with impaired cognition, whereas exercise can acutely improve cognition. Objective: We compared the effects of a morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise, with and without subsequent light-intensity walking breaks from sitting, on cognition in older adults. Methods: Sedentary overweight/obese older adults with normal cognitive function (n=67, 67±7 years, 31.2±4.1 kg/m 2 ) completed three conditions (6-day washout): SIT (sitting): uninterrupted sitting (8 hours, control); EX+SIT (exercise + sitting): sitting (1 hour), moderate-intensity walking (30 min), uninterrupted sitting (6.5 hours); and EX+BR (exercise + breaks): sitting (1 hour), moderate-intensity walking (30 min), sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 min of light-intensity walking (6.5 hours). Cognitive testing (Cogstate) was completed at four time points assessing psychomotor function, attention, executive function, visual learning and working memory. Serum brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) was assessed at six time points. The 8-hour net area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each outcome. Results: Working memory net AUC z-score·hour (95% CI) was improved in EX+BR with a z-score of +28 ('26 to +81), relative to SIT, '25 ('79 to +29, p=0.04 vs EX+BR). Executive function net AUC was improved in EX+SIT, '8 (' 71 to +55), relative to SIT, '80 ('142 to '17, p=0.03 vs EX+SIT). Serum BDNF net AUC ng/mL·hour (95% CI) was increased in both EX+SIT, +171 ('449 to +791, p=0.03 vs SIT), and EX+BR, +139 ('481 to +759, p=0.045 vs SIT), relative to SIT, '227 ('851 to +396). Conclusion: A morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise improves serum BDNF and working memory or executive function in older adults, depending on whether or not subsequent sitting is also interrupted with intermittent light-intensity walking. Trial registration number: ACTRN12614000737639.

AB - Background: Sedentary behaviour is associated with impaired cognition, whereas exercise can acutely improve cognition. Objective: We compared the effects of a morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise, with and without subsequent light-intensity walking breaks from sitting, on cognition in older adults. Methods: Sedentary overweight/obese older adults with normal cognitive function (n=67, 67±7 years, 31.2±4.1 kg/m 2 ) completed three conditions (6-day washout): SIT (sitting): uninterrupted sitting (8 hours, control); EX+SIT (exercise + sitting): sitting (1 hour), moderate-intensity walking (30 min), uninterrupted sitting (6.5 hours); and EX+BR (exercise + breaks): sitting (1 hour), moderate-intensity walking (30 min), sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 min of light-intensity walking (6.5 hours). Cognitive testing (Cogstate) was completed at four time points assessing psychomotor function, attention, executive function, visual learning and working memory. Serum brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) was assessed at six time points. The 8-hour net area under the curve (AUC) was calculated for each outcome. Results: Working memory net AUC z-score·hour (95% CI) was improved in EX+BR with a z-score of +28 ('26 to +81), relative to SIT, '25 ('79 to +29, p=0.04 vs EX+BR). Executive function net AUC was improved in EX+SIT, '8 (' 71 to +55), relative to SIT, '80 ('142 to '17, p=0.03 vs EX+SIT). Serum BDNF net AUC ng/mL·hour (95% CI) was increased in both EX+SIT, +171 ('449 to +791, p=0.03 vs SIT), and EX+BR, +139 ('481 to +759, p=0.045 vs SIT), relative to SIT, '227 ('851 to +396). Conclusion: A morning bout of moderate-intensity exercise improves serum BDNF and working memory or executive function in older adults, depending on whether or not subsequent sitting is also interrupted with intermittent light-intensity walking. Trial registration number: ACTRN12614000737639.

KW - ageing

KW - brain

KW - exercise

KW - sedentary

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U2 - 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100168

DO - 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100168

M3 - Article

JO - British Journal of Sports Medicine

JF - British Journal of Sports Medicine

SN - 0306-3674

ER -