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The effects of exercise and body armor on cognitive function in healthy volunteers

The effects of exercise and body armor on cognitive function in healthy volunteers
The effects of exercise and body armor on cognitive function in healthy volunteers
Police officers routinely wear body armor to protect themselves against the threat posed by firearms and edged weapons, yet little is known of the cognitive effects of doing so. Two studies investigated the effects of exercise and body armor on working memory function in healthy volunteers. In study 1, male undergraduates were assigned to one of four groups: (i) brief exercise, (ii) brief exercise wearing body armor, (iii) extended exercise, and (iv) extended exercise wearing body armor. In study 2, university gym members were assigned to one of two groups: (i) wearing body armor and (ii) not wearing body armor. In both studies, heart rate and oral temperature were measured before, immediately after, and 5 minutes after exercise. The phonemic verbal fluency task and digits backward test were administered at the same time points. In both studies, a mixed analysis of variance revealed statistically significant changes to the cognitive functioning of participants. A change in cognitive strategy was observed, reflected by a decrease in executive function (switches) and an increase in nonexecutive function (cluster size). These data suggest that the cognitive effects of exercise and body armor may have profound implications for police officers' ability to make tactical decisions.
0026-4075
479-486
Roberts, Aaron P.J.
a2fb35d9-a42f-4a07-848d-01cecae9d893
Cole, Jon C.
979c4f0a-ef16-4687-a698-ff9b6ca85b88
Roberts, Aaron P.J.
a2fb35d9-a42f-4a07-848d-01cecae9d893
Cole, Jon C.
979c4f0a-ef16-4687-a698-ff9b6ca85b88

Roberts, Aaron P.J. and Cole, Jon C. (2013) The effects of exercise and body armor on cognitive function in healthy volunteers. Military Medicine, 178 (5), 479-486. (doi:10.7205/milmed-d-12-00385).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Police officers routinely wear body armor to protect themselves against the threat posed by firearms and edged weapons, yet little is known of the cognitive effects of doing so. Two studies investigated the effects of exercise and body armor on working memory function in healthy volunteers. In study 1, male undergraduates were assigned to one of four groups: (i) brief exercise, (ii) brief exercise wearing body armor, (iii) extended exercise, and (iv) extended exercise wearing body armor. In study 2, university gym members were assigned to one of two groups: (i) wearing body armor and (ii) not wearing body armor. In both studies, heart rate and oral temperature were measured before, immediately after, and 5 minutes after exercise. The phonemic verbal fluency task and digits backward test were administered at the same time points. In both studies, a mixed analysis of variance revealed statistically significant changes to the cognitive functioning of participants. A change in cognitive strategy was observed, reflected by a decrease in executive function (switches) and an increase in nonexecutive function (cluster size). These data suggest that the cognitive effects of exercise and body armor may have profound implications for police officers' ability to make tactical decisions.

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e-pub ahead of print date: May 2013
Published date: 1 May 2013

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432241
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432241
ISSN: 0026-4075
PURE UUID: 12ae2208-d960-43a7-9045-d1072bab0326

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Date deposited: 05 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 09 Nov 2021 15:45

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Author: Jon C. Cole

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