Exercise in space: Physical and mental benefit

Stefan Schneider*, Tobias Vogt, Vera Abeln

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the last decades exercise in space has mainly been used to counteract musculoskeletal and cardiovascular deconditioning. This is in accordance with the mainstream approach of exercise science to preserve and restore physical health. Today we knowthat exercise holds an additional dimension, affecting not only the peripheral physiological system but also enhancing neurocognitve performance and affective state. As a result medical interest in exercise as a countermeasure to mood changes and neurocognitive function has recently emerged. Special attention was given to alterations in braincortical activity caused by exercise. These modifications are supposed to act as a multifunctional generator for the adaptation of mood, vigilance and cognitive performance. This chapter is dedicated to psycho-physiological effects of exercise in space. The aim is to show that exercise in space means more than staying physically fit. Exercisein space can also help to improve mood, enhance neurocognitive function and therefore increase crew performance. By reviewing a series of recent research activities from our own lab, this chapter likes to draw attention to the fact that exercise can be regarded as a holistic approach to regulate a multitude of psycho-physiological processes occurring in space during long-term confinement. Of course it is easy to translate these findings into everyday life. Living in microgravity, living in space is a very feasible analogue for a sedentary life-style. Accordingly ideas and content of this chapterwill not only help to improve mission success and mission safety while living in space, but might also contribute to the discussion about an active life style and its relevance for socio-economic and health-political decisions of the upcoming years.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSports Performance
PublisherSpringer Japan
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9784431553151
ISBN (Print)9784431553144
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain activity
  • Exercise
  • Mental health
  • Societal relevance
  • Spaceflight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Exercise in space: Physical and mental benefit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this