Human exercise engagement – does rewards help – new research

Human exercise engagement – does rewards help – new research

The benefits of daily exercise are well documented, but do rewards help you keep up the good pace? New research from the University of California about human exercise engagement, digs deeper into this to a large extent unexplored question. To provide understanding of such effects will help to explain individual differences in both exercise uptake and maintenance. 

Human exercise engagement - does rewards help - new research

The data for the research is based on self-reported aerobic exercise among healthy young adult females and evaluated neural response to a classical taste reward task. The authors of the study write:

“The current study sought to identify potential reciprocal effects between exercise and dopamine-related brain reward processing. Amount of aerobic exercise was significantly positively correlated with right medial OFC response across all three reward conditions tested but remained significant after multiple comparison correction only for the unexpected stimulus receipt condition.”

This includes an unexpected receipt of reward and stimulus receipt, according to the authors of the study “these two possibilities may each be true, and be additionally related to unique individual-level factors (e.g., temperamental traits) that increase the likelihood that a regular and adaptive program of exercise is upheld.” 


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