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Mechanical massage and mental training programmes affect employees’ anxiety, stress susceptibility and detachment–a randomised explorative pilot study
Högskolan i Jönköping, HHJ. ADULT.
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Sweden.
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Sweden.
Högskolan i Jönköping, HHJ, Avd. för naturvetenskap och biomedicin.
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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
BioMed Central, 2015. Vol. 15, p. 1-8, article id 302
Keywords [en]
Stress, Anxiety, Alternative, Complementary, Intervention, Physical Health, Psychosocial health, Working place
National Category
Health Sciences
Research subject
Dental Hygiene
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-77015DOI: 10.1186/s12906-015-0753-xISI: 000360342400003PubMedID: 26329694Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84940492981OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-77015DiVA, id: diva2:1395380
Available from: 2020-02-21 Created: 2020-02-21 Last updated: 2020-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Lindmark, Ulrika

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