Physiological Stress Response to Anticipation of Physical Exertion
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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The physiological feedforward response is an unconscious phenomenon by which the body attempts to prepare itself prior to the onset of a stressor. In humans, this feedforward mechanism has been implicated in thermoregulation, digestion, and anticipation of physical activity. To test this feed forward response, we designed an experiment to measure physiological responses in human participants in anticipation to exercise to analyze how the body copes with the expected deviations from homeostatic conditions. Thirty participants completed an exercise-related survey designed to prime their bodies in anticipation of future exercise while heart rate, blood pressure, and EDA/skin conductance were measured. Following this anticipatory period, participants performed basic exercises while the same physiological measurements were collected. It was hypothesized that the physiological measurements taken during anticipation would be similar to those collected during exercise, with physically fit participants displaying a greater anticipatory response than the sedentary participants. Our results indicated that there were no significant differences in heart rate, blood pressure, or EDA between genders or varying fitness level groups. Because of the lack of significance in the three physiological tests, the null hypothesis cannot be rejected. Additional studies will need to be conducted to further explore the compensatory mechanisms involved in feed forward responses.
electrodermal activity (EDA)
Autonomic Nervous System
An article that appeared in JASS, issue 2018