Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Health and Sport Sciences

Degree Program

Exercise Physiology, MS

Committee Chair

Adams, Kent


Exercise for women; Relaxation--Therapeutic use


This study compared brief, single sessions of physical activity (PA, self-paced treadmill walking) and relaxation/meditation (R/M, the "Body Scan") on positive and negative affect and anxiety measures in female undergraduates. Both were predicted to reduce negative and enhance positive affect. Differential effects of PA and R/M were predicted for participants with predominantly cognitive or somatic anxiety symptoms. Forty-six undergraduates were randomized to PA or R/M interventions. Changes in positive and negative affect (Positive and Negative Affect Scale, PANAS) and anxiety (Spielberger State/Trait Anxiety Inventory) were assessed using multivariate, repeated-measures statistics. Both PANAS Negative Affect & STAI anxiety scores declined following PA, but PANAS positive affect also declined. Similarly, R/M significantly reduced STAI and PANAS Positive Affect scores, and (marginally) PANAS negative affect. Anxiety reduction was greatest following R/M for participants with cognitive anxiety symptoms, but the complementary prediction concerning P/A and somatic symptoms was not supported.