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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Work Stress Equals Fewer Workouts

Demanding bosses and looming deadlines make it difficult for employees to stick to their exercise regimens, according to the results of a new study.

Researchers at Middlesex University in the U.K. surveyed more than 200 employees of a computer company about their exercise intentions and then again a week later to see how well they followed through on those intentions.

Fifty-four employees were classified as having a high-stress job, which was defined as having high demands and little control over their work.
Not only did these workers express lower self-confidence in their ability to stick to an exercise program, they also exercised less frequently than did their colleagues.

Furthermore, the employees who said they intended to exercise but were unsuccessful were most likely to cite work demands as the reason they didn't make it to the gym.
Lead researcher Dr. Nicola Payne believes ''people in high-strain jobs may not have the time for exercise or they may be too fatigued to exercise because they need more time to recover after the working day.''

She hopes that employers will come to recognize exercise as a priority and actively encourage it.
Source: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 2002; 7, 342-353

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