Aerobic Fitness Level Affects Cardiovascular and Salivary Alpha Amylase Responses to Acute Psychosocial Stress

Wyss, Thomas; Boesch, Maria; Roos, Lilian; Tschopp, Celine; Frei, Klaus Michael; Annen, Hubert; La Marca, Roberto (2016). Aerobic Fitness Level Affects Cardiovascular and Salivary Alpha Amylase Responses to Acute Psychosocial Stress Sports Medicine - Open, 2(1), p. 33. Springer 10.1186/s40798-016-0057-9

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BACKGROUND: Good physical fitness seems to help the individual to buffer the potential harmful impact of psychosocial stress on somatic and mental health. The aim of the present study is to investigate the role of physical fitness levels on the autonomic nervous system (ANS; i.e. heart rate and salivary alpha amylase) responses to acute psychosocial stress, while controlling for established factors influencing individual stress reactions. METHODS: The Trier Social Stress Test for Groups (TSST-G) was executed with 302 male recruits during their first week of Swiss Army basic training. Heart rate was measured continuously, and salivary alpha amylase was measured twice, before and after the stress intervention. In the same week, all volunteers participated in a physical fitness test and they responded to questionnaires on lifestyle factors and personal traits. A multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to determine ANS responses to acute psychosocial stress from physical fitness test performances, controlling for personal traits, behavioural factors, and socioeconomic data. RESULTS: Multiple linear regression revealed three variables predicting 15 % of the variance in heart rate response (area under the individual heart rate response curve during TSST-G) and four variables predicting 12 % of the variance in salivary alpha amylase response (salivary alpha amylase level immediately after the TSST-G) to acute psychosocial stress. A strong performance at the progressive endurance run (high maximal oxygen consumption) was a significant predictor of ANS response in both models: low area under the heart rate response curve during TSST-G as well as low salivary alpha amylase level after TSST-G. Further, high muscle power, non-smoking, high extraversion, and low agreeableness were predictors of a favourable ANS response in either one of the two dependent variables. CONCLUSIONS: Good physical fitness, especially good aerobic endurance capacity, is an important protective factor against health-threatening reactions to acute psychosocial stress.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Lehre und Sportpädagogik > Evaluation
Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Lehre und Sportpädagogik > Monitoring

Name:

Wyss, Thomas;
Boesch, Maria;
Roos, Lilian;
Tschopp, Celine;
Frei, Klaus Michael;
Annen, Hubert and
La Marca, Roberto

ISSN:

2198-9761

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Admin import user

Date Deposited:

23 Dec 2020 11:51

Last Modified:

11 Oct 2021 02:18

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s40798-016-0057-9

Related URLs:

PubMed ID:

27747788

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Autonomic nervous system Cross-stressor adaptation hypotheses Physical activity Physical fitness Stress prevention Stress response

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.10936

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/10936

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