Byron-Daniel, J. Z., Cropley, M. and Fife-Schaw, C.
Acute exercise effects on smoking withdrawal symptoms
and desire to smoke are not related to expectation.
Psychopharmacology, 195 (1).
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-007-0889-6
Rationale: Recent research has shown that 10 min of moderate
intensity exercise reduce smoking withdrawal symptoms and
desire to smoke in acutely abstinent smokers. The aim of the
current study was to determine whether the reductions are
related to participant expectation of these effects.
Materials and methods: Forty-five sedentary participants
who had smoked ten or more cigarettes per day for at least
3 years reported their expectation of the effects of exercise on smoking withdrawal symptoms. Approximately 1 month later, participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups after 11–15 h of overnight smoking abstinence.
Each group read either a positive, negative or neutral
statement concerning exercise effects on smoking withdrawal
symptoms. They rated their expectation again and
then completed 10 min of moderate intensity exercise on a
stationary bicycle ergometer. Using standardised scales,
participants rated smoking withdrawal symptoms and desire
to smoke at 10, 5 and 0 min before exercise, then at 5 and
10 min during exercise and 15 and 20 min post-exercise.
Results: Expectation of exercise effects on withdrawal were
manipulated in the predicted directions. No significant group main effects were found for any symptom. Significant
reductions in symptoms and desire to smoke occurred during
and after exercise regardless of participant expectation.
Conclusions: Ten minutes of moderate intensity exercise
can lead to reductions in desire to smoke and smoking
withdrawal symptoms, which are not due to the participant’s
expectation of exercise effects. These findings
support the use of short periods of exercise as an aid to
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