Investigating the impact of repetitive and variable low-intensity exercise on mania-relevant symptoms following approach motivation induction
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
I wish to place an embargo on my dissertation in case I decide to publish a paper in an academic journal using some or all of the material in it
Background: Exercise is recommended as a non-pharmacological intervention for individuals with a bipolar disorder diagnosis (BDD). Although physical activity can be beneficial for reducing depressive symptoms, there is preliminary evidence that high-intensity exercise can exacerbate (hypo)mania-related symptoms. Risks associated with other forms of exercise remain unknown. Method: To investigate the potential risks and benefits of low-intensity exercise, non-clinical participants were asked to either copy repetitive movements (n = 20), copy variable movements (n = 20) or watch variable movements (n = 21), following approach motivation induction. Hypomania-like symptoms, positive affect and approach motivation were measured pre-, during and post-task. Trait behavioural activation system (BAS) sensitivity was measured as a moderating factor. Results: There were no group differences in symptom change over time. BAS sensitivity did not moderate this relationship. Limitations: A predominantly student population with low average trait BAS sensitivity was studied. The reliability and validity of the approach motivation induction, mania measure and physical activity task are uncertain. Conclusions: It is unclear whether different types of low-intensity exercise are of risk or benefit for individuals prone to (hypo)mania. This area requires further investigation.