Six Minutes of Physical Activity Improves Mood in Older Adults: A Pilot Study

Ali Boolani, Shantanu Sur, Da Yang, Abby Avolio, Aurora Goodwin, Sumona Mondal, George Fulk, Christopher Towler, Matthew Lee Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: The purposes of this study were to examine (1) differences in mood and motivation among older adults after the completion of 6 minutes of self-paced walking (6MW) and (2) the relationship between pace and magnitude of mood change. Methods: Eleven participants completed 3 days of testing where energy, fatigue, tension, depression, confusion, mental and physical energy, and motivation to perform mental tasks were measured before and after the 6MW. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to examine changes in mood and motivation, and a bivariate Pearson correlation was used to determine relationships between pace and magnitude of changes in mood. Results: Faster pace was associated with significant improvements (P <.05) in fatigue, energy, tension, confusion, total mood disturbance, state mental fatigue, and state physical energy. A significant relationship was noted between pace and changes in energy, fatigue, state mental and physical energy, and fatigue in the expected direction. Discussion: Results indicate that mood is influenced by pace of the activity. Findings suggest that even 6 minutes of physical activity can improve moods, which may impact how physical therapists approach prescribing exercise to older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geriatric Physical Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • fatigue
  • mood
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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