Faculty Articles

Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning in the Elderly

Timothy D. Van Sickle, Nova Southeastern University
Michel Hersen, Nova Southeastern University
Edward R. Simco, Nova Southeastern University
Michael A. Melton, Nova Southeastern University
Vincent B. Van Hasselt, Nova Southeastern University


In this paper, we summarize the effects of aging on physiological and cognitive processes in elderly individuals, discuss the ameliorative effects of physical exercising on these processes, and present a review of previous reports of the effects of physical exercise on cognitive functioning in the elderly. We also underscore issues concerning research design and methodology. Thirteen of 18 studies provided sufficient information for calculation of statistical power and effect sizes. Although these studies included a total of 87 statistical tests, the power exceeded. 4 in only 10 instances. Despite inadequate power, effects of exercise were strong enough to yield significant results (