The relationship between workplace stress and physical activity: A correlational study
AuthorsGrant, Loren C.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractObjectives: This study examined associations between levels of physical activity (PA) in both leisure and work time and stress in a specific population of NHS managerial and administrative staff (n=174). Methods: Data was gathered via a modified version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) on physical activity (PA), perceived stress levels at work and in personal life, health status, age, gender, job band, commuting distance and methods of transport, caring status and a range of perceived barriers to PA. The sample was stratified into low, moderate or high categories of activity using the IPAQ scoring protocol to calculate MET-mins/wk. Stress levels were coded 1(low) to 6 (high) from a Likert-scale type question. Results: Overall, there was a significant difference in stress levels between low activity and moderate and high activity groups. As levels of PA increased, levels of stress tended to decrease. The mean difference in stress scores between the low-activity and moderate activity groups was 1.14 (SE: 0.45) (p = 0.01) and the mean difference in stress scores between low-activity and high activity groups was 1.68 (SE: 0.48) (p = 0.00). However, there was no significant difference between the moderate- and high-activity groups although the high activity group had the lowest mean of stress (2.8). When results were separated for age groups, gender and income levels, some of these effects, especially for job bands (as a proxy for income levels) and health, could be confirmed. There were significant differences between some age groups in levels of PA, showing that older age groups are more active; and significant differences in PA amongst people in different job bands, with people on the highest job bands achieving the highest levels of PA and reporting the lowest levels of stress. ii Conclusions: Individuals reporting low levels of physical activity report higher levels of stress, with a trend showing that as PA levels increase, stress levels decrease. However, as this is a cross-sectional study, the direction of the effect could not be confirmed. Further investigation into some of the barriers to PA amongst similar sedentary working populations may be of value for workplace health interventions.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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