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Open AccessArticle

Severe Hypoxia Does Not Offset the Benefits of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Sedentary Young Women

1
Faculty of Education, University of Macau, Macao, China
2
Department of Health, Exercise Science and Recreation Management School of Applied Sciences, The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS 36877, USA
3
School of Physical Education and Sports, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macao, China
4
Institute of Physical Education, Huzhou University, Huzhou 313000, China
5
Lifestyle (Mind-Body Movement) Research Center, College of Sports Science, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
6
Sports Science Research Center, Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 1003; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061003
Received: 17 January 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
Purpose: To examine the effect of acute moderate-intensity continuous exercise performed under normobaric severe hypoxia on cognition, compared to sea-level normoxia. Methods: Thirty healthy inactive women randomly performed two experimental trials separated by at least three days but at approximately the same time of day. Executive functions were measured during the follicular stage via an interference control task before (rest) and during exercise with 45% peak power output under normobaric normoxia (PIO2 = 150 mmHg, FIO2 = 0.21), and (2) hypoxia (PIO2 = 87 mmHg, FIO2 = 0.12, simulated at an altitude of 4000 m). Reaction time (RT), accuracy rate (AC), heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, and peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) were collected before and during exercise. Results: RT (p < 0.05, η2p = 0.203) decreased during moderate exercise when compared at rest, while a short bout of severe hypoxia improved RT (p < 0.05, η2p = 0.134). Exercise and hypoxia had no effects on AC (p > 0.05). No significant associations were found between the changes of RT and SpO2 under the conditions of normoxia and hypoxia (p > 0.05). Conclusions: At the same phase of the menstrual cycle, a short bout of severe hypoxia simulated at 4000 m altitude caused no impairment at rest. RT during moderate exercise ameliorated in normoxia and severe hypoxia, suggesting that both exercise and short-term severe hypoxia have benefits on cognitive function in sedentary young women. View Full-Text
Keywords: hypoxia; exercise; reaction time; accuracy; peripheral oxygen saturation hypoxia; exercise; reaction time; accuracy; peripheral oxygen saturation
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Lei, O.-K.; Kong, Z.; Loprinzi, P.D.; Shi, Q.; Sun, S.; Zou, L.; Hu, Y.; Nie, J. Severe Hypoxia Does Not Offset the Benefits of Exercise on Cognitive Function in Sedentary Young Women. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 1003.

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