The effect of a single, brief practice of progressive muscle relaxation after exposure to an acute stressor on subsequent energy intake

Tasmiah Masih, James A. Dimmock, Kym J. Guelfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
128 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Given previous research suggests an association between stress and the intake of energy-dense foods, this study investigated whether post-stressor relaxation practice can attenuate stress-induced eating.

METHODS: Twenty-five men and women were exposed to four conditions on separate days: an acute laboratory stressor (S); acute stressor followed by 20 minutes of relaxation (SR) in the form of Abbreviated Progressive Muscle Relaxation (APMR); relaxation alone (R), and a control condition (C). Physiological and psychological responses to stress and relaxation were assessed, in addition to the subsequent energy intake of high-energy snacks.

RESULTS: Salivary cortisol, blood pressure, heart rate, and perceived stress were transiently elevated post-laboratory stressor (S and SR compared with R and C; p< 0.05). Meanwhile, perceived relaxation was acutely enhanced after APMR alone (R) compared with S, SR and C (p<0.05) and in SR (immediately after the APMR) compared with S (p<0.05). No difference in mean energy intake was observed between conditions (p>0.05). Likewise, no differences in perceived appetite or the levels of ghrelin, leptin and insulin were found between conditions (p>0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Much variation exists in stress-induced dietary responses, and APMR either post-acute stressor or in isolation does not appear to consistently alter the intake of commonly eaten snacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-606
Number of pages12
JournalStress and Health
Volume35
Issue number5
Early online date20 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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