The Effects of Physical Activity on Cigarette Cravings
Date: 4 August 2014
University of Exeter
PhD in Sport and Heath Sciences
Rationale: Cigarette cravings are one of the most important clinical phenomena in tobacco addiction. A wide range of studies and research designs may help to increase understanding of the relationship between physical activity (PA) and cigarette cravings. Aims: (i) To investigate the acute effects of walking and isometric exercise ...
Rationale: Cigarette cravings are one of the most important clinical phenomena in tobacco addiction. A wide range of studies and research designs may help to increase understanding of the relationship between physical activity (PA) and cigarette cravings. Aims: (i) To investigate the acute effects of walking and isometric exercise on cigarette cravings, withdrawal, and attentional bias among temporarily abstaining smokers. (ii) To quantify the effects of short bouts of PA on cigarette cravings among temporarily abstaining smokers. (iii) To examine who most benefits from PA, whether changes in affect mediate these effects, and whether a specific attribute of PA is associated with cravings. (iv) To investigate whether any association between habitual PA and cravings in smokers could be found. Methods: A randomised controlled crossover trial with three arms addressed aim (i). A systematic review of literature and individual participant data meta-analysis using hierarchical modelling addressed aims (ii) and (iii). Aim (iv) was achieved by using linear regression modelling of cross-sectional data from a smoking cessation study. Results: No difference in cravings, withdrawal, and attentional bias between walking and isometric exercise versus control was found. Bouts of PA decreased cigarette cravings by approximately 30%. Moderate intensity PA provided increased benefit when compared with light intensity, whereas vigorous intensity did not confer additional benefits compared with moderate intensity PA. Also bouts of medium (10 minutes) and longer duration (≥15minutes) appeared to be more effective than short duration (≤ 5 min). No moderators and mediators of this association were identified. Habitual moderate intensity PA was the strongest predictor of cigarette cravings in smokers, MPSS was an additional predictor and alcohol consumption moderated the effects of habitual PA on cravings. Conclusion: Moderate intensity PA could be recommended to smokers to help decrease cigarette cravings.
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