RESEARCH PAPER
Short-term effects of a randomized controlled worksite relaxation intervention in Greece
 
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1
Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre, Occupational Health Department, Athens, Greece, Postgraduate Course Stress Management and Health Promotion, Kapodistrian National University Medical School, Athens, Greece
2
Postgraduate Course Stress Management and Health Promotion, Kapodistrian National University Medical School, Athens, Greece
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(2):382–387
 
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ABSTRACT
objective. To evaluate the short-term benefits of simple relaxation techniques in white-collar employees. materials and methods. The study was a two-arm parallel group randomized controlled trial. 152 employees were randomly assigned to receive the 8-week programme (N=80) (relaxation breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, twice a day) or not (wait-list group N=72). Self-reported validated measures were used to evaluate perceived stress, health locus of control, job and lifestyle related variables. Saliva cortisol were also sampled and measured. Adjusted mean changes on outcomes were estimated by linear mixed model analysis. 127 employees were finally analyzed (68 in the intervention and 59 in the control group). results. Specific stress-related symptoms, psychological job demands and cortisol levels were found to be significantly decreased after 8-weeks in the intervention group. The result was probably affected by the general socio-economic condition during the study period. Cortisol levels were also significantly related with age, family situation, gender and sampling time. conclusions. Simple relaxation training (diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation) could benefit employees and it is strongly proposed that these and other similar techniques should be tested in various labour settings
 
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