Effects of an aerobic exercise program on driving performance in adults with cardiovascular disease
Gaudet, Jeffrey; Mekari, Saïd; Bélanger, Mathieu; Johnson, Michel
Abstract: Objective: Cardiovascular disease has been linked to decreases in driving performance and an increased crash risk. Regular exercise has been linked with improved driving performance among healthy adults. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between a 12 week cardiac rehabilitation program and driving performance among individuals with cardiovascular disease. Methods: Twenty-five individuals, including 12 cardiac adults and 13 healthy adults, took part in this study. Simulated driving performance was assessed with a standardized demerit-based scoring system at 0 and 12 weeks. Cardiac participants completed a 12 week cardiac rehabilitation program between evaluations. Results: At baseline, cardiac participants had a higher number of demerit points than healthy adults (120.9 ± 38.1 vs. 94.7 ± 28.3, p = 0.04). At follow-up, there was an improvement in both groups’ driving evaluations, but the improvement was greater among the cardiac group such that there was no longer a difference in driving performance between both groups (94.6 ± 30 vs. 86.9 ± 34.8, p = 0.51). Conclusions: Participation in an aerobic exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program appears to lead to improvements in simulated driving performances of individuals with cardiovascular disease.
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