Skip to main content

The Effects of Acute Exercise on Cognitive Function: Solomon Experimental Design


No study has yet evaluated the effects of an acute 5-min bout of exercise (walking) on cognitive function, which was the purpose of our study. We employed a Solomon-4 experimental design, in which 22 young adult participants were included in each group. Participants in two groups (1 and 3) walked on a treadmill for 5 min at a self-selected intensity. We assessed cognitive function by means of the Trail Making B test. We observed no difference in cognitive function between the two assessments for the control group (group 2: 42.8 vs. 40.6 s), but found a significant effect for adults in group 1 (56.3 vs. 35.7 s), whose cognitive function was markedly improved after the 5-min bout of walking. This within-group by between-group interaction (change due to the treatment) was statistically significant (− 20.4 vs. − 2.2 s). A 5-min bout of walking at a self-selected intensity is associated with improved cognitive function. Given our observed interaction effect of the pretest and treatment (walking) on cognitive function, we encourage researchers to investigate the potential additive or synergistic effects of mental training and acute exercise on cognition.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


Download references


This study was approved by the author’s Institutional Review Board and all participants provided consent prior to participation.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paul D. Loprinzi.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Jaffery, A., Edwards, M.K. & Loprinzi, P.D. The Effects of Acute Exercise on Cognitive Function: Solomon Experimental Design. J Primary Prevent 39, 37–46 (2018).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Cognition
  • Executive function
  • Exercise
  • Walking