Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado

Faculty Sponsor

Brent Peterson


Significant increases in age-related cognitive impairment (ARCI) associated with aging have been observed among older adults, negatively affecting measures of Quality of Life (QOL). Purpose: To examine the effects of a 12-week aerobic and cognitive training intervention on cognitive function in apparently healthy older adults. Methods: Six participants (40-75 years) were randomly placed into one of three training groups: 1) aerobic, cognitive, and flexibility (AER/COG); 2) aerobic and flexibility (AER); or 3) cognitive and flexibility (COG). There was a complete physical and cognitive assessment administered before and after the 12-week intervention. Individuals were assigned to 36 one hour sessions in total, participating three times per week. Results: There were no significant effects observed between all groups and variables. There were no significant increases in any measure for the COG group. There were significant (p < 0.05) increases in reaction time for the COG/AER group. There were significant (p < 0.05) increases in VO2peak and a trend toward significant (p < 0.07) improvements in delayed recall (DR) for the AER group. Conclusion: Results are preliminary, but suggest that chronic aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week can positively affect cognitive and physiological function.

UNCO Undergraduate Verification