Healthy Volunteers | The Effects of Physical Training on Physiological and Psychological Stress-reactions and Cognitive Function.

Healthy Volunteers research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

One of the biggest challenges of today is the high stress levels among employees in companies and organizations. Physical exercise may be an effective preventive measure for stress-related problems. This relatively simple and inexpensive action is believed to be important for increasing and maintaining work ability and reduce the cost of stress-related ill health in the workplace. The aim is to investigate how regular physical exercise affects the individual's ability to mentally and physiologically cope with stress. Acute stress physiological responses are measured before and after a 6 -month intervention, where 100 untrained individuals are randomized to either regular physical exercise or a control group. The hypothesis is that exercise leads to lesser activation of the individual's stress physiological systems and to an efficient physiological protection system. Mental ability to handle stress is also studied as well as possible effects on the brain's cognitive functions. From a work perspective, cognitive impairment due to high exposure to stress is a major problem leading to substantial costs in businesses and organizations as a result of reduced performance and production. We believe that physical activity can alter and mitigate individual stress reactions. This study brings new knowledge that can contribute to increased motivation to prioritize physical activity in everyday life. The study could also provide evidence for businesses and organizations of the benefits of engaging in interventions and fitness initiatives to facilitate/enable increased physical activity in daily life for its employees. With an aging population, we are expected to work longer, which poses a challenge as the ability to manage stress and maintain cognitive abilities decline with age. For older employees, regular physical activity could be an important factor directly affecting the prospects for a sustainable working life.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Self-reported good health - Sedentary - Work or study at least 50% Exclusion Criteria: - Diabetes - Cardiovascular disease - Blood pressure > 140/90 - Psychiatric disease - Anemia - Medication with substances that could affect any of the outcome measures

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Healthy Volunteers

Sedentary Lifestyle

Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Other:ExercisePhysical training Duration: 45-60 minutes Frequency: 3 times per week Intensity: mean heart rate > 75% of maximum heart rate determined by exercise test before start of the intervention

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

ExercisePhysical training Duration: 45-60 minutes Frequency: 3 times per week Intensity: mean heart rate > 75% of maximum heart rate determined by exercise test before start of the intervention

ControlInstructed to continue with their sedentary behavior for another 6 months.

Study Status


Start Date: January 2013

Completed Date: April 3, 2017

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Cortisol responses to acute psychosocial stress.

Secondary Outcome: Cognitive function

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Ingibjörg H Jonsdottir, Professor

Lead Sponsor: Vastra Gotaland Region


More information:

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