Physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance in the young and middle-aged workforce with primarily physical versus mental work demands

Olaf Prieske*, Tina Dalager, Vanessa Looks, Kathleen Golle, Urs Granacher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance and their associations in young and middle-aged workers with primarily physical versus mental work demands. Subjects and methods: Healthy young and middle-aged workers (73 men, age = 33 ± 7 years; 75 women, age = 35 ± 9 years) were recruited from German small-to-medium-sized enterprises (< 250 employees) and classified into groups with primarily mental (MD) or physical demands (PD) at work. Participants were tested for cardiorespiratory fitness, trunk flexor/extensor muscular endurance, handgrip strength, balance, leg muscle power, perceived stress, cognitive performance, and work ability. Results: Ninety-four workers were allocated to the MD (53% females) and 54 to the PD (46% females) groups. The MD group showed significantly better balance, trunk extensor muscular endurance, and cognitive performance (p < 0.035, 0.35 ≤ d ≤ 0.55) and less stress compared with the PD group (p < 0.023, d = 0.38). Group-specific Spearman rank correlation analysis (rS) revealed significant small-to-medium-sized correlations between physical fitness and cognitive performance (− 0.205 ≤ rS ≤ 0.434) in the MD and PD groups. Significant small-to-medium-sized correlations were found for physical fitness and stress/work ability (0.211 ≤ rS ≤ 0.301) in the MD group only. Further, associations of trunk extensor muscular endurance and work ability were significantly higher in the MD group (rS = 0.240) compared with the PD group (rS = − 0.141; z = 2.16, p = 0.031). Conclusions: MD workers showed better physical fitness measures (balance, trunk extensor muscular endurance) and cognitive performance and lower levels of perceived stress compared with PD workers. Small-to-medium-sized associations between physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance measures indicate that gains in physical fitness may at least partly contribute to psycho-cognitive performance and/or vice versa, particularly in MD workers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health
ISSN2198-1833
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26. Jun 2019

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Leg
Muscles
Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Keywords

  • Association
  • Core strength
  • Endurance
  • Stress
  • Work ability

Cite this

@article{3087d544d7bb4404acbbefc3891f9180,
title = "Physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance in the young and middle-aged workforce with primarily physical versus mental work demands",
abstract = "Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance and their associations in young and middle-aged workers with primarily physical versus mental work demands. Subjects and methods: Healthy young and middle-aged workers (73 men, age = 33 ± 7 years; 75 women, age = 35 ± 9 years) were recruited from German small-to-medium-sized enterprises (< 250 employees) and classified into groups with primarily mental (MD) or physical demands (PD) at work. Participants were tested for cardiorespiratory fitness, trunk flexor/extensor muscular endurance, handgrip strength, balance, leg muscle power, perceived stress, cognitive performance, and work ability. Results: Ninety-four workers were allocated to the MD (53{\%} females) and 54 to the PD (46{\%} females) groups. The MD group showed significantly better balance, trunk extensor muscular endurance, and cognitive performance (p < 0.035, 0.35 ≤ d ≤ 0.55) and less stress compared with the PD group (p < 0.023, d = 0.38). Group-specific Spearman rank correlation analysis (rS) revealed significant small-to-medium-sized correlations between physical fitness and cognitive performance (− 0.205 ≤ rS ≤ 0.434) in the MD and PD groups. Significant small-to-medium-sized correlations were found for physical fitness and stress/work ability (0.211 ≤ rS ≤ 0.301) in the MD group only. Further, associations of trunk extensor muscular endurance and work ability were significantly higher in the MD group (rS = 0.240) compared with the PD group (rS = − 0.141; z = 2.16, p = 0.031). Conclusions: MD workers showed better physical fitness measures (balance, trunk extensor muscular endurance) and cognitive performance and lower levels of perceived stress compared with PD workers. Small-to-medium-sized associations between physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance measures indicate that gains in physical fitness may at least partly contribute to psycho-cognitive performance and/or vice versa, particularly in MD workers.",
keywords = "Association, Core strength, Endurance, Stress, Work ability",
author = "Olaf Prieske and Tina Dalager and Vanessa Looks and Kathleen Golle and Urs Granacher",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "26",
doi = "10.1007/s10389-019-01099-9",
language = "English",
journal = "Journal of Public Health: From Theory to Practice",
issn = "2198-1833",
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Physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance in the young and middle-aged workforce with primarily physical versus mental work demands. / Prieske, Olaf; Dalager, Tina; Looks, Vanessa; Golle, Kathleen; Granacher, Urs.

In: Journal of Public Health, 26.06.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance in the young and middle-aged workforce with primarily physical versus mental work demands

AU - Prieske, Olaf

AU - Dalager, Tina

AU - Looks, Vanessa

AU - Golle, Kathleen

AU - Granacher, Urs

PY - 2019/6/26

Y1 - 2019/6/26

N2 - Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance and their associations in young and middle-aged workers with primarily physical versus mental work demands. Subjects and methods: Healthy young and middle-aged workers (73 men, age = 33 ± 7 years; 75 women, age = 35 ± 9 years) were recruited from German small-to-medium-sized enterprises (< 250 employees) and classified into groups with primarily mental (MD) or physical demands (PD) at work. Participants were tested for cardiorespiratory fitness, trunk flexor/extensor muscular endurance, handgrip strength, balance, leg muscle power, perceived stress, cognitive performance, and work ability. Results: Ninety-four workers were allocated to the MD (53% females) and 54 to the PD (46% females) groups. The MD group showed significantly better balance, trunk extensor muscular endurance, and cognitive performance (p < 0.035, 0.35 ≤ d ≤ 0.55) and less stress compared with the PD group (p < 0.023, d = 0.38). Group-specific Spearman rank correlation analysis (rS) revealed significant small-to-medium-sized correlations between physical fitness and cognitive performance (− 0.205 ≤ rS ≤ 0.434) in the MD and PD groups. Significant small-to-medium-sized correlations were found for physical fitness and stress/work ability (0.211 ≤ rS ≤ 0.301) in the MD group only. Further, associations of trunk extensor muscular endurance and work ability were significantly higher in the MD group (rS = 0.240) compared with the PD group (rS = − 0.141; z = 2.16, p = 0.031). Conclusions: MD workers showed better physical fitness measures (balance, trunk extensor muscular endurance) and cognitive performance and lower levels of perceived stress compared with PD workers. Small-to-medium-sized associations between physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance measures indicate that gains in physical fitness may at least partly contribute to psycho-cognitive performance and/or vice versa, particularly in MD workers.

AB - Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance and their associations in young and middle-aged workers with primarily physical versus mental work demands. Subjects and methods: Healthy young and middle-aged workers (73 men, age = 33 ± 7 years; 75 women, age = 35 ± 9 years) were recruited from German small-to-medium-sized enterprises (< 250 employees) and classified into groups with primarily mental (MD) or physical demands (PD) at work. Participants were tested for cardiorespiratory fitness, trunk flexor/extensor muscular endurance, handgrip strength, balance, leg muscle power, perceived stress, cognitive performance, and work ability. Results: Ninety-four workers were allocated to the MD (53% females) and 54 to the PD (46% females) groups. The MD group showed significantly better balance, trunk extensor muscular endurance, and cognitive performance (p < 0.035, 0.35 ≤ d ≤ 0.55) and less stress compared with the PD group (p < 0.023, d = 0.38). Group-specific Spearman rank correlation analysis (rS) revealed significant small-to-medium-sized correlations between physical fitness and cognitive performance (− 0.205 ≤ rS ≤ 0.434) in the MD and PD groups. Significant small-to-medium-sized correlations were found for physical fitness and stress/work ability (0.211 ≤ rS ≤ 0.301) in the MD group only. Further, associations of trunk extensor muscular endurance and work ability were significantly higher in the MD group (rS = 0.240) compared with the PD group (rS = − 0.141; z = 2.16, p = 0.031). Conclusions: MD workers showed better physical fitness measures (balance, trunk extensor muscular endurance) and cognitive performance and lower levels of perceived stress compared with PD workers. Small-to-medium-sized associations between physical fitness and psycho-cognitive performance measures indicate that gains in physical fitness may at least partly contribute to psycho-cognitive performance and/or vice versa, particularly in MD workers.

KW - Association

KW - Core strength

KW - Endurance

KW - Stress

KW - Work ability

U2 - 10.1007/s10389-019-01099-9

DO - 10.1007/s10389-019-01099-9

M3 - Journal article

JO - Journal of Public Health: From Theory to Practice

JF - Journal of Public Health: From Theory to Practice

SN - 2198-1833

ER -