Worksite Physical Activity Interventions and their effect on employees' sickness absence: a literature review
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Objective: To investigate the effect of physical exercise interventions, done in the workplace, on sickness absence. The review was done with special interest in progress in the intervention effect and design the last 5 years. Method: The literature was identified by search in three scientific databases, PubMed, Sport Discus and Web of Science. The search identified 660 studies that were screened and then excluded if: 1.They were not in English. 2. Full text was not available. 3. The intervention was not implemented at the workplace or in relation with the workplace. 4. Sickness absence was not reported. 5. The study was not experimental design. 6. Intervention did not comprise physical exercise or aim to increase physical exercise. In total 10 studies were included in the review.Results: Two of the ten included studies showed significant decrease in sickness absence, revealing the effect of increased physical exercise on sickness absence. The positive effect in those two studies were shown with physical exercise during work hours and focused on high intensity exercise. In terms of intervention strategies, three studies targeted consultation and lifestyle coaching to increase physical activity and the other seven studies had active physical exercise intervention. The intervention design varied between studies both of intensity and type of exercise. All of the studies had the aim to decrease sickness absence. Conclusion: Based on the results of this review, a fair conclusion seems that out of the amount of exercise interventions or interventions that promote physical activity to reduce sickness absence that has been conducted, only a small minority have shown evidence of effect. In this review studies comprising different kind of interventions were included in terms of intervention content, strategies as well as physical activity intensity.
Masteroppgave - Norges idrettshøgskole, 2016