The Effect of Two Types of Exercise (Endurance and Resistance) on Attention and Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor Levels in Sedentary Students

Document Type : Research Paper


1 M.Sc. of Motor Behavior, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Motor Behavior, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Motor Behavior, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of Sport Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The vital role of exercise in many aspects of daily life and somewhat cognitive
functions are acknowledged but a point that has recently gained researchers'
attention is to investigate the effect of different types of exercises on cognitive
functions and the mediating mechanisms of this effect. The aim of this study was to
determine the effect of two types of endurance and resistance exercises on the
levels of attention and BDNF of sedentary students. Therefore, 46 sedentary
students from University of Tehran (mean age 24.3+1.8 yr) were assigned to three
groups: endurance, resistance and control after the Stroop pretest. After blood
samples had been collected, the subjects continued their exercise protocol for five
weeks. Finally, at least 48 hours after the last session, the Stroop test was
performed and blood samples were collected in order to eliminate the temporary
effects of exercises. For data analysis, Kolmogorov–Smirnov test, paired sample t
test, one–way ANOVA, MANOVA test, Dunnett's T3 post hoc test and Pearson
correlation coefficient test were used (P≤0.05). Results showed a significant
improvement in the response time of Stroop test in both endurance and resistance
groups while expression of BDNF significantly increased only in endurance group
(P<0.05). The control group showed no improvement in any variables. In addition,
there was no significant difference between the effect of two types of exercise on
the response time of the Stroop test and expression of BDNF (P>0.05). There was
no significant correlation between the variations of response time of the Stroop test
and expression of BDNF (P>0.05). Finally, this research indicated that exercise
can improve cognitive functions, but there was no significant difference between
endurance and resistance exercises in response to this question that which activity
was more useful.


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