The Effect of Worksite Physical Activity Intervention on Physical Capacity, Health, and Productivity: A 1-Year Randomized Controlled Trial

Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.63). 07/2009; 51(7):759-70. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181a8663a
Source: PubMed


To investigate the effect of two contrasting physical activity worksite interventions versus a reference intervention (REF) on various health outcomes.
A 1-year randomized controlled trial was conducted with specific resistance training (SRT), all-round physical exercise (APE), and REF.
SRT and APE compared with REF showed significant reductions in systolic blood pressure (approximately 6 mm Hg), body fat percentage (approximately 2.2 body fat%), as well as shoulder and back pain (approximately 30% reduction in duration). Muscle strength (APE and SRT) and maximal oxygen uptake (APE) increased approximately 10%.
Worksite intervention with both SRT as well as APE is recommended, since these activities compared with REF resulted in clinically relevant reductions of cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome-related risk factors as well as musculoskeletal pain symptoms, in combination with minor increases in physical capacity.

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Available from: Ernst Albin Hansen, Mar 09, 2015
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    • "Moreover, greater functional capacity, as measured by cardiorespiratory fitness, is related to increased quantity of work performed, and a higher level of cardiorespiratory fitness is related to a lesser effort exerted when performing certain work tasks [12]. Among job groups with sedentary work efficacy of physical activities have been shown for prevention of musculoskeletal disorders [16] and previous studies recommend to include both strength training and aerobic fitness training in preventive activities [17]. However, there is a lack of evidence on preventive activities among job groups with physical heavy work and activities for prevention of sickness absence and job [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Health care workers have high physical work demands, involving patient handling and manual work tasks. A strategy for prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders can enhance the physical capacity of the health care worker. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of 'Tailored Physical Activity' for health care workers in the Sonderborg Municipality. This protocol describes the design of a randomised controlled trial to assess the efficacy of 'Tailored Physical Activity' versus a reference group for health care workers in the Sonderborg Municipality. Inclusion criteria to be fulfilled: health care workers with daily work that includes manual work and with the experience of work-related musculoskeletal pain in the back or upper body.All participants will receive 'Health Guidance', a (90-minute) individualised dialogue focusing on improving life style, based on assessments of risk behaviour, on motivation for change and on personal resources. In addition, the experimental groups will receive 'Tailored Physical Activity' (three 50-minute sessions per week over 10 weeks). The reference group will receive only 'Health Guidance'.The primary outcome measure is the participants' self-reported sickness absence during the last three months due to musculoskeletal troubles, measured 3 and 12 months after baseline.In addition, secondary outcomes include anthropometric measurements, functional capacity and self-reported number of sick days, musculoskeletal symptoms, self-reported health, work ability, work productivity, physical capacity, kinesiophobia and physical functional status. The results from this study will contribute to the knowledge about evidence-based interventions for prevention of sickness absence among health care workers.Trial registration: NCT01543984.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · BMC Public Health
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    • "According to the IPAQ classification, approximately 88% of the workers belonged to the physically active category in relation to the recommendation of the American College of Sports Medicine [25]. It is likely that some of these workers overestimated their level of physical activity since 40% of all adults in Denmark do not fulfil the recommendation for physical activity [23,52]. Another explanation is related to the fact that the IPAQ does not enable detection of relatively small changes like 1 hour/week in physical activity [23]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Computer users often report musculoskeletal complaints and pain in the upper extremities and the neck-shoulder region. However, recent epidemiological studies do not report a relationship between the extent of computer use and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD).The aim of this study was to conduct an explorative analysis on short and long-term pain complaints and work-related variables in a cohort of Danish computer users. A structured web-based questionnaire including questions related to musculoskeletal pain, anthropometrics, work-related variables, work ability, productivity, health-related parameters, lifestyle variables as well as physical activity during leisure time was designed. Six hundred and ninety office workers completed the questionnaire responding to an announcement posted in a union magazine. The questionnaire outcomes, i.e., pain intensity, duration and locations as well as anthropometrics, work-related variables, work ability, productivity, and level of physical activity, were stratified by gender and correlations were obtained. Women reported higher pain intensity, longer pain duration as well as more locations with pain than men (P < 0.05). In parallel, women scored poorer work ability and ability to fulfil the requirements on productivity than men (P < 0.05). Strong positive correlations were found between pain intensity and pain duration for the forearm, elbow, neck and shoulder (P < 0.001). Moderate negative correlations were seen between pain intensity and work ability/productivity (P < 0.001). The present results provide new key information on pain characteristics in office workers. The differences in pain characteristics, i.e., higher intensity, longer duration and more pain locations as well as poorer work ability reported by women workers relate to their higher risk of contracting WMSD. Overall, this investigation confirmed the complex interplay between anthropometrics, work ability, productivity, and pain perception among computer users.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
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    • "Overall, 50 ES were calculated, from those, 40 ES were from 17 RCT [1] [3] [15] [18] [19] [20] [22] [24] [25] [30] [33] [41] [42] [44] [45] [46] [47],and 10 ES from 4 non RCT studies [17] [35] [36] [43]. The remaining 3 RCT [2] [27] [37] and 7 non RCT [5] [12] [13] [16] [28] [31] [40] did not provide information necessary for ES calculation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence synthesized based on randomized controlled trials (RCT) results are recognized as the pinnacle of research excellence; however, the conduction of RCT in workplace environment is not always possible. This study comparatively reviewed evidence from RCT and non-RCT studies in which participants performed workplace exercise for musculoskeletal pain control. Up to February 2011, PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane, PEDro and Web of Science databases were searched. All trials that evaluated workplace exercise interventions for controlling musculoskeletal pain were included. The PEDro scale was used to rate the studies' quality, PRISMA and Cochrane recommendations were applied, and association between frequencies of effect size categories (small, moderate, large) from various outcomes by study type was tested (2x3 contingency table). The search yielded 10239 references in English, from which 21 RCT and 12 non-RCT were selected. Both groups of studies presented methodological flaws including descriptions of randomization, blinding of examiners and absence of intention-to-treat analysis for the RCT, and further absence of controls and blind assessor for the non-RCTs. RCTs had significantly more moderate and large effect size reported in their results compared to non-RCTs (p=0.04). Considering the difficulties in randomizing participants in occupational settings, all studies would benefit from better describing pertinent methodological information.
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