International Journal of Exercise Science 6(2) : 144-156, 2013. Previous meta-analyses examining the effects of exercise on stress reactivity have included methodologically weak studies; we therefore conducted a meta-analysis utilizing more stringent inclusion criteria. An analysis of 33 randomized controlled trials involving humans (N = 1,252) revealed a moderate effect (ES = -0.31; 95% CI = -.43, -.20) for exercise as a method to reduce stress reactivity. An additional analysis with 27 randomized controlled trials of physical activity in animals (N = 462) also revealed a moderate reduction (ES = -0.33; 95% CI = -0.15, -0.52) in stress reactivity. The combined results of these analyses indicate that exercise diminishes the negative effects of increased reactivity to stressors.
Wipfli, Brad and Ramirez, Ernesto
"Stress Reactivity in Humans and Animals: Two Meta-Analyses,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 6
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol6/iss2/7