COGNITIVE AND EMOTIONAL FUNCTIONING IN ADVANCED AGE – THE EFFECT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Wingate College, Israel
The importance of physical activity for the improvement and preservation of cognitive and emotional well-being in advanced age has been widely researched during recent decades. The aim of the present talk is to overview the existing literature, elaborating on selective issues. The overview will start with describing cognitive and emotional well-being in general, followed by a short history of the study in these areas. It will then discuss two meta-analyses – one on cognitive functioning and the other on well-being.
Cross-sectional and epidemiological studies will then be presented, elaborating on issues, such as the relationship between physical activity and cognitive or emotional well-being in old age as compared to other ages, fitness and cognition in the very old, the association between life-course physical activity and cognitive performance in old age, and differences between active and non-active individuals on behavioral and neurophysiological measures.
The effect of physical activity on behavioral measurements as well as brain functioning will then be reviewed in experimental studies comparing between various types of physical activity, such as aerobic exercise, coordination, or exergames. A comparison between the effects of physical vs. mental activity on cognitive functioning will also be examined.
Dose-response relationships between physical activity and cognitive functioning, as well as emotional well-being, will be investigated by reviewing large-scale epidemiological studies as well as experimental studies.