Effects of 2 physical exercise programs (circuit training and brisk walk) carried out during working hours on multidimensional components of workers’ health: a pilot study
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Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland (School of Social Sciences, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Sport and Health (PAPESH) Research Centre, Sports Science Department)
Navarrabiomed-Public University of Navarra (UPNA), Pamplona, Spain (Health Research Institute of Navarra (IdiSNA), Navarra Hospital Complex (CHN))
University of Santiago de Chile (USACH), Santiago, Chile (Laboratory of Physical Activity, Sports and Health Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences)
Jose M. Saavedra   

Reykjavik University, School of Social Sciences, Physical Activity, Physical Education, Sport and Health (PAPESH) Research Centre, Sports Science Department, Menntavegur 1, Nauthólsvík, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
Online publication date: 2020-11-06
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2021;34(1):39–51
Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of 2 physical exercise programs carried out during working hours in an office work environment on health-related parameters of employees. Material and Methods: The participants included 47 healthy office worker volunteers (aged 45±11.95 years, 27% males) who formed 3 groups: circuit training (CT), brisk walk (BW), and control (C) groups. The interventions lasted 12 weeks with a weekly frequency of three 30-minute sessions in the middle of the workday. All employees were evaluated with a multicomponent battery test which included: anthropometric and body composition measurements, a cardiorespiratory fitness test, lipid profile, blood pressure, and mental health (depression, anxiety, and stress). Basic descriptive statistics were calculated. A repeated measures ANOVA was performed to summarize changes in the variables studied after the application of the physical exercise programs. Results: Generally, both exercise programs (CT and BW) maintained the body weight and body mass index while reducing body fat mass (a group × time interaction; 4.864 ≤ F ≤ 6.524, 0.001 ≤ p ≤ 0.015), although the CT intervention also showed relevant (inter-group) reductions in the waist-hip ratio (F = 11.311, p = 0.007) and increased skeletal muscle mass (F = 15.062, p = 0.003). Both exercise programs (CT and BW) improved the cardiorespiratory fitness test scores (a group × time interaction; F = 18.054, p < 0.001). There were no changes in the lipid profile or blood pressure after the interventions, but there was an improvement in mental health (4.760 ≤ F ≤ 8.087, 0.008 ≤ p ≤ 0.037). Conclusions: The findings suggest that both types of programs could be implemented in the employees’ daily routine in order to improve their overall health. Nevertheless, studies with larger samples are necessary before the conclusions can be generalized. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(1):39–51