Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte
Print version ISSN 1517-8692
RODRIGUES, André Valentim Siqueira; MARTINEZ, Eduardo Camillo; DUARTE, Antônio Fernando Araújo and RIBEIRO, Luiz Carlos Scipião. Aerobic fitness and its influence in the mental stress response in army personnel. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2007, vol.13, n.2, pp. 113-117. ISSN 1517-8692. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-86922007000200009.
Stress promotes human adaptation to different situations in high levels or, if kept for long periods, may produce consequences for the body, leading to several health conditions. Exercise practice as well as high cardiorespiratory fitness seems to protect the body against these undesired stress effects. The aim of this work was to verify the effect of aerobic physical fitness in the psycho physiological response to laboratory stressors in Brazilian Army Personnel. Four hundred and thirty-eight military individuals performed the 12-minute Cooper test in order to evaluate their cardiorespiratory fitness. After that, 28 subjects were selected among the ones who completed more than 3,200 m (estimated VO2max of 63.01 ± 2.73 ml.kg1.min1) and less than 2,400 m (estimated VO2max of 38.7 ± 1.68 ml.kg1.min1). These chosen subjects were divided in two groups called respectively superior fitness group (SUPG) and inferior fitness group (INFG). After an initial measurement in resting position, two consecutive laboratory stressors were applied in the subjects: cold-stressor and mathematical stressor, while their skin conductibility level (SCL) was measured. Previously to the stressors' beginning, the groups did not present differences from each other and concerning their application, the SUPG presented lower values of SCL than the INFG during the cold stressor (9.29 ± 0.06 mS and 9.40 ± 0.04 mS; p = 0.009, respectively) and during the mathematical stressor (9.29 ± 0.07 mS; p = 0.012, respectively). The results suggest that individuals with better cardiorespiratory fitness tend to present reduced patterns in anatomic response to stress, as shown by the behavior of the levels of conductibility on the skin.
Keywords : Exercise; Military personnel; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Stressor.