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Mechanical massage and mental training programmes affect employees’ anxiety, stress susceptibility and detachment–a randomised explorative pilot study
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ADULT. School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Sweden.
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Sweden.
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Sweden.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dep. of Natural Science and Biomedicine. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. Oral health. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ADULT. (Jönköpingsstudien 2013)
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2015 (English)In: BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, ISSN 1472-6882, E-ISSN 1472-6882, Vol. 15, p. 1-8, article id 302Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background

Working people’s reduced ability to recover has been proposed as a key factor behind the increase in stress-related health problems. One not yet evidence-based preventive method designed to help employees keep healthy and be less stressed is an armchair with built-in mechanical massage and mental training programmes, This study aimed to evaluate possible effects on employees’ experience of levels of “Anxiety”, “Stress Susceptibility”, “Detachment” and “Social Desirability” when using mechanical massage and mental training programmes, both separately and in combination, during working hours.

Methods

Employees from four different workplaces were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: i) Massage and mental training (sitting in the armchair and receiving mechanical massage while listening to the mental training programmes, n = 19), ii) Massage (sitting in the armchair and receiving mechanical massage only, n = 19), iii) Mental training (sitting in the armchair and listening to the mental training programmes only, n = 19), iv) Pause (sitting in the armchair but not receiving mechanical massage or listening to the mental training programmes, n = 19), v) Control (not sitting in the armchair at all, n = 17). In order to discover how the employees felt about their own health they were asked to respond to statements from the ”Swedish Scale of Personality” (SSP), immediately before the randomisation, after four weeks and after eight weeks (end-of-study).

Results

There were no significant differences between the five study groups for any of the traits studied (“Somatic Trait Anxiety”, “Psychic Trait Anxiety”, “Stress Susceptibility”, “Detachment” and “Social Desirability”) at any of the occasions. However, the massage group showed a significant decrease in the subscale “Somatic Trait Anxiety” (p = 0.032), during the entire study period. Significant decreases in the same subscale were also observed in the pause group between start and week eight (p = 0.040) as well as between week four and week eight (p = 0.049) and also in the control group between the second and third data collection (p = 0.014). The massage and mental training group showed a significant decrease in “Stress Susceptibility” between week four and week eight (p = 0.022). The pause group showed a significant increase in the subscale “Detachment” (p = 0.044).

Conclusions

There were no significant differences between the five study groups for any of the traits studied. However, when looking at each individual group separately, positive effects in their levels of “Anxiety”, “Stress Susceptibility” and “Detachment” could be seen. Although the results from this pilot study indicate some positive effects, mechanical chair massage and mental training programmes used in order to increase employee’s ability to recover, needs to be evaluated further as tools to increase the employees ability to recover.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, p. 1-8, article id 302
Keyword [en]
Stress; Anxiety; Alternative; Complementary; Intervention; Physical Health; Psychosocial health; Working place
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-27705DOI: 10.1186/s12906-015-0753-xISI: 000360342400003PubMedID: 26329694Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84940492981OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-27705DiVA, id: diva2:846009
Available from: 2015-08-13 Created: 2015-08-13 Last updated: 2018-04-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Psychological and physiological effects on Swedish worker’s health when using a health promotion intervention including mechanical massage and mental training - a pilot study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychological and physiological effects on Swedish worker’s health when using a health promotion intervention including mechanical massage and mental training - a pilot study
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction:

Work-related stress is one of the most challenging issues on workplaces. Reduced ability to relax and recover has been proposed as a key factor behind the increase of stress-related illness among workers. Massage and mental training are two commonly used techniques which may have positive effects on the ability to recover. One technique to help workers recover is a “recovery chair” which include both mechanical massage and mental training programs. However, it has not been scientifically evaluated yet whether using the techniques included in the “recovery chair”, both separately and in combination, as a health promotion tool.

Aim:

The overall aim of this thesis was to explore the psychological and physiological effects of the mechanical massage and mental training programs included in the “recovery chair”, both separately and in combination, as a health promotion tool for Swedish workers.

Methods:

In this study workers were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: i) Mechanical massage combined with mental training (n=19), ii) Mechanical massage (n=19), iii) Mental training (n=19), iv), Pause (15 min break in the armchair, n=19), v) and a Control group (n=17). Psychological effects were measured by the ”Swedish Scale of Personality” (SSP) and physiological effects were measured by heart rate, blood pressure and fingertip temperature, immediately before the randomization, after four weeks and after eight weeks (end-of-study).

Results:

Psychological effects: The results showed that receiving mechanical massage was associated with a significant decrease in “Somatic Trait Anxiety”. The participants in the mental training group showed a tendency to decrease in “Somatic Trait Anxiety”. The participants who received both mechanical massage and mental training showed a significant decrease in “Stress Susceptibility” between four and eight weeks. The results also showed a significant decrease in “Somatic Trait Anxiety” and a significant increase in “Detachment” for the paus group.

Physiological effects: As compared to pre-intervention assessments, participants in the massage group condition showed significantly reductions in their resting heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and an increase in their fingertip temperature directly after the intervention (post-intervention). The mechanical massage and mental training group showed a significant increase in diastolic blood pressure during the last four weeks of the study.

The participants in the mental training group showed a significant decrease in their heart rate, when compared the start of the study to week four. The pause group tended to have lower systolic blood pressure at post-intervention assessment when compared to the pre-intervention assessment. The participants in the control group showed significantly decrease in heart rate and their systolic blood pressure.

Conclusion:

The workers’ who used the “recovery chair” with mechanical massage or mental training programs, either separately or in combination, for eight weeks during working hours reported a positive impact on their levels of anxiety and stress sensitivity. The results also showed positive effects on the workers' blood pressure, pulse and fingertip temperature. The effect was particularly strong for workers' who received only mechanical massage. This indicate that stress management interventions as work place health promotion activities clearly have a potential to provide significant benefit for health and wellbeing for workers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, 2018. p. 52
Series
Hälsohögskolans avhandlingsserie, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 089
Keyword
Alternative, Anxiety, Blood pressure, Complementary, Heart rate, Intervention, Massage, Physical Health, Psychosocial health, Randomized controlled study, Salutogenic theory, Stress, Temperature, Working place
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-39102 (URN)978-91-85835-88-1 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-05-17, Forum Humanum, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-04-11 Created: 2018-04-11 Last updated: 2018-04-11Bibliographically approved

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