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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 February;60(2):314-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.10259-9


lingua: Inglese

Physical activity and perceived stress at work in university workers: a cross-sectional study

Rubén LÓPEZ-BUENO 1, 2 , Lars L. ANDERSEN 2, 3, Lee SMITH 4, Guillermo F. LÓPEZ-SÁNCHEZ 5, Javier MOMPEL 6, Luis CASEDAS 6, José A. CASAJÚS 7, 8, 9

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Nursing, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain; 2 National Research Center for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark; 3 Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark; 4 The Cambridge Centre for Sports and Exercise Sciences, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK; 5 Faculty of Sports Sciences, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; 6 Occupational Risk Division, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain; 7 Growth, Exercise, Nutrition and Development (GENUD) Research Group, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain; 8 Biomedical Research Networking Center about Nutrition and Obesity Physiopathology (CIBER-OBN), Madrid, Spain; 9 AgriFood Institute of Aragon (IA2), Zaragoza, Spain

BACKGROUND: Previous research has suggested high levels of physical activity (PA), either in occupational or leisure-time, to be associated with low levels of perceived stress at work (PSW). However, because studies have been set in particular conditions, there is no possibility to generalize results on other populations of workers. This study investigated the association between PA and PSW in university workers.
METHODS: University employees (N.=757) aged from 26 to 65 years (47% female) at a large public Spanish university. Data were collected between January 2017 and December 2017. Physical Activity Vital Sign (PAVS) questionnaire and a single-item scale were used to assess PA levels and PSW. Associations were examined through an adjusted logistic regression.
RESULTS: Results showed the strongest association between high PSW and low PA levels after adjusting for age, gender and profession (odds ratio [OR] 2.60, 95% CI: 1.44-3.68). Around half of the employees (51.9%) performed at least 150 minutes of PA per week, which is higher than in most other Spanish and European worker populations.
CONCLUSIONS: Adequately high levels of PA may be beneficial for stress management in university workers as previously seen in other types of workers. Promoting PA strategies at the workplace could improve the working environment and the health of the workers.

KEY WORDS: Physical activity; Professional burnout; Mental health; Workplace; Occupational medicine; Psychological stress

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