Research



OfficePhysio is based on a longitudinal study conducted at the Charité (University of Berlin). Also, various international studies support the program of OfficePhysio. Below we present a selection. Please contact us if you would like to have more information or individual studies.

 

Improved Health And Coping By Physical Exercise Or Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management Training In A Work Environment

Hilde Gr⊘nningæter, Karsten Hytten, Geir Skauli, C. C. Christensen, Holger Ursin
Psychology & Health
Vol. 7, Iss. 2, 2007

Abstract

The effects of two types of stress-reduction interventions on physically inactive employees in an insurance company have been studied. After balancing for sex. level of job stress, and anxiety, subjects were allocated at random to: (a) aerobic physical exercise, (b) stress management training, or (c) a control group (no treatment). A total of 76 subjects (96%) were tested after ten weeks of training and 72 (91%) were examined at six month follow up.

Aerobic exercise resulted in significantly increased aerobic capacity, improved feelings of well-being and significantly decreased complaints of muscle pain. There were no changes in anxiety and job stress reports, but job satisfaction was significantly reduced. Stress management training resulted in improved coping ability, but no significant changes in somatic or psychological health. The immediate effects of the interventions, therefore, were rather specific. No unspecilic treatment effects were observed across groups.

At six months follow up 56% of the participants in the physical exercise group were still active. About 40% of the subjects in the stress management group and half of the controls started physical training. Participation in the study, therefore, seemed to have a positive effect on life style and health behavior across groups. Five months additional physical exercise also increased the perception of being able to cope with the environment.

 

Effectiveness of an educational and physical program in reducing accompanying symptoms in subjects with head and neck pain: a workplace controlled trial

Eugenia Rota, Andrea Evangelista, Giovannino Ciccone, Luca Ferrero, Alessandro Ugolini, Chantal Milani, Manuela Ceccarelli, Claudia Galassi, Franco Mongini

Published online: 20 January 2011, Spingerlink.com

Abstract

The objective of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational and physical program in reducing behavioral or somatic symptoms along with headache, neck and shoulder pain in a working community. A controlled, non-randomized trial was carried out in a working community and 384 employees were enrolled and divided into a study group (Group 1) and a control group (Group 2). The Group 1 received a physical and educational intervention, consisting of relaxation and posture exercises and the use of visual feedback. After 6 months, the intervention was administered to the Group 2. Both groups were then followed for an additional 6 months until the end of the trial. The presence of accompanying symptoms was investigated with a semi-structured interview using a checklist of 20 items, along with headache, neck, and shoulder pain parameters and the prevalence of generalized anxiety disorder and depression, in three clinical examinations at baseline, after 6 months and after 12 months. For each symptom, as well as the presence of any type of symptom, the differences between groups in the prevalence at the clinical examinations following the baseline were evaluated by applying logistic models. After 6 months, the probability of the presence of any type of symptom was significantly lower in the Group 1 (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.56–0.85) with respect to the Group 2. After 12 months, the pooled estimation did not show any significant difference of symptom prevalence between groups (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.64–1.00). In conclusion, this is the first longitudinal study relative to accompanying symptoms. Its results suggest the effectiveness of this cognitive program in reducing the burden of physical and psychiatric complaints in a large, working population.

Discussion

The results confirm the high prevalence of psychosomatic symptoms in the general population (1) and demonstrate that the administration of a simple educational and physical program can significantly decrease the psychosomatic complaints in a large working community. This finding may be a consequence of the cognitive program, but it may be partially due to the beneficial effects of such programs on the headache, neck and shoulder pain in the study population. In fact, this program was demonstrated to reduce about 40% of the monthly frequency of headache, neck and shoulder pain in the study group, compared to the controls, and to significantly (about 50%) decrease the frequency of drug intake at both clinical examinations (after 8 and 14 months, respectively) [14, 15]. Moreover, the improvement of accompanying symptoms was significantly higher in those patients who achieved a reduction of at least 50% of headache episodes as compared to other subjects. Hence, the long-term benefit of such an educational and physical program on the burden of accompanying symptoms in this large sample of employees in the city of Turin seems to be in strict accordance with its general efficacy on the head-neck pain. Furthermore, the finding that the program was effective in reducing headache and neck pain, as well as the burden of symptoms, also in subjects whose compliance was not optimal, is in agreement with a pivotal role of psychological mechanisms, in addition to the strictly physical ones (muscular relaxation). Furthermore, this is one of the few studies in which a simple, self-administered physical exercise program can be performed without leaving the workplace and/or at home and without the intervention of paramedical staff.

 References:

(1) Kroenke K, Price R (1993) Symptoms in the community: prevalence, classification, and psychiatric comorbidity. Arch Intern Med 153:2474-80

(2) Mongini F, Ciccone G, Rota E, Ferrero L, Ugolini A, Evangelista A, Ceccarelli M, Galassi C (2008) Effectiveness of an educational and physical programme in reducing headache, neck and shoulder pain: a workplace controlled trial. Cephalalgia 28:541–552. Mongini F, Evangelista A, Rota E, Ferrero L, Ugolini A, Ceccarelli M, Ciccone G, Galassi C (2009) Long-term benefits of an educational and physical program on headache, and neck and shoulder pain, in a working community. J Pain 10:1138–1145