Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Exercise Science


The Norman J. Arnold School of Public Health

First Advisor

Roger Newman-Norlund


Strong levels of motivation, relatedness and self-determination support the likeliness of participating in habitual exercise. Compared to nationwide estimates, research has demonstrated fitness and performance is significantly lower among those suffering from PTSD. Meeting established recommended daily levels of physical activity (PA) for individuals with PTSD is critical for their physical and mental health status over a lifetime and factors supporting or hindering adherence to habitual exercise are lacking. Furthermore, regular PA among combat Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a viable and substantial treatment option to improve physical health status and cognitive well-being. The purpose of this exploratory analysis was to uncover relationships between objectively measured PA and the severity of PTSD symptomology, as established by DSM-V, among trauma-exposed combat Veterans.
Methods: PA among a group of combat Veterans (n=10) was monitored for a period of 7-days concurrent to inventories of symptom severity, motives for participation in PA and posttraumatic growth (PTG).
Results: Subjects reporting greater symptom severity and currently taking medication demonstrated inferior outcome results versus their counterparts. Conclusion: This was the first study, to our knowledge, to objectively explore PA among Veterans with PTSD. Mixed results suggest moderation of PTG and motives for PA on outcomes for those with PTSD. Activity monitoring in outpatient Veterans with PTSD is feasible. Future studies are warranted.