Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Background: Health and ill-health are multifaceted concepts. Previous research has shown that physical activity and the level of cardio respiratory are important parts of leading a healthy lifestyle. Possibly, it’s so important that the Occupational Health Service should focus even more on this.
Aim: The aim was to investigate if there was a relationship between the level of cardio respiratory fitness and self-rated health, and between the level of cardio respiratory fitness and physical and mental ill-health.
Method: The study was conducted using a quantitative method in the form of a cross sectional study. Data was collected from an Occupational Health Service, containing answers to a questionnaire on work environment and health and test values from completed cycle fitness tests. The study population consisted of 1191 individuals, n = 1191. Only male officials in the construction sector were included in the study. A total of 16 questions from the survey were selected, one question was about self-rated health and 15 questions were about perceived ill health during the past year. The 15 questions were divided into groups of physical and mental ill-health. Data were analyzed in SPSS using the chi square test to examine whether a relationship existed between variables.
Results: Data analysis shows strong evidence of a relationship between self-rated health and the level of cardio respiratory fitness, p= 0.000. Three of the questions regarding physical and mental ill-health were also shown to be associated with the level of cardio respiratory fitness: headache, p= 0.005, snoring p=0.000, and fatigue p=0.009. This indicates that individuals with higher levels of cardio respiratory fitness experience fewer symptoms of headaches, fatigue, snoring and better self-perceived health.
Conclusion: The level of cardio respiratory fitness seems to be important when it comes to being healthy and preventing illness. People should therefore be encouraged to be cardio respiratory fit. Although there is evidence that these relationships exist, more research is needed to see if there is a relationship of causality and how strong the relationships are.
Keywords: cardiorespiratory fitness, cardiorespiratory fitness-test, health, ill-health, self-rated health.
2014. , 28 p.