Research

  • “Research shows that when people are in good moods at work, it builds productivity,” Goleman says. “The art of leadership is getting work done well through other people, and laughing together is one of the best ways to do that.”
  • The December, 2004 issue of the Journal of Occupational Medicine found that obesity is becoming more common among workers leading to cardiovascular problems and various work limitations.

  • (NHANES) 1999-2000: Research found that 29% of workers’ are classified as obese. Carrying extra pounds adversely affected workers productivity.

  • The Body of Evidence that Mental Stress takes a Toll on the Body is continuing to Pile Up. According to a 2002 study, Dr. Hiroyaso Iso, a professor in the department of public health, Institute of Community Medicine at the University Tsukuba Japan, found that Japanese women who reported high levels of mental stress have double the risk for stoke-related and heart-related deaths than those reporting low levels of stress.
  • High-stress women were also more likely to feel angry, hurried, hopeless and unfulfilled. Jiang believes that the best medicine for stress is to engage in exercise, such as walking for 20-30 minutes, reading, yoga and listening to soft music.
  • Research shows that people sick with the common cold are not very productive. Lost productivity accounts for up to 60% of employer health costs- more than if they’d taken a sick day.

  • Physical Exercise and Psychological Well Being: A Population Study in Finland Results: The results of this cross-sectional study suggest that individuals who exercised at least two to three times per week experienced significantly less depression, anger, cynical distrust, and stress than those exercising less frequently or not at all.

  • Researchers at Duke University found at the total cost of smoking Cigarettes – the lost earnings, impact on insurance mortality, even the impact of second hand smoke runs about $40 per pack for the average 24 year old.

  • Stress can be very costly, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, author of Total Health Program.  Each year, the U S forks out more than $300 billion to cover the health care costs brought on by stress in the workplace. Occupational experts report that workers who admit they are stressed cost companies an average of $600 more per person than other employees.

  • A Swedish study by C. Jonsson in 1975 found that employees who were regular meditators, when compared to employees who had not yet learned the technique, reported being significantly more alert and active, self confident, less irritable, more co-operative with others, and enjoying a greater level of accomplishment.

  • In research published by T. Haratani and T. Henmi in 1990 in the Japanese Journal of Industrial Health and the Japanese Journal of Public Health, some of the benefits of meditation were again identified. This research showed that meditation leads to significant decreases in psychological distress, health complaints, insomnia, and smoking.

  • A study by Alexander et al. in 1993, published in Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, found that meditation practice on a regular basis led to improvements in employee job satisfaction, productivity, and work relationships. Several other studies in the 1990s have found that meditation training can be useful in the workplace in terms of employee and managerial productivity and organizational effectiveness.

  • From Workforce Management Archive: Stress Reduction and Employee Health, The Role of Yoga, Relaxation and Meditation.
  • Depression in the Workplace Impacts on Productivity. Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association, W. Eugene Broadhead and colleagues[2] found that “persons [in that study] with major depression had 571 disability days, which is 475 days in excess of what would be predicted for an equal number of asymptomatic individuals. . .
  • Those persons with minor depression with mood disturbances had 716 disability days, or 8.5% of all disability days.” Looked at more closely, depression’s impact upon the workplace would seem to be almost more than many businesses could easily withstand.
  • Workers’ Compensation and Disability. Workers’ compensation disability claims, filed as a result of workplace-induced behavioral health problems, also contribute to the indirect costs of depression.
  • Depression, in addition to being a cause of disability in itself, is a famous co-morbidity, retarding the rehabilitation of employees with, for example, physical injuries or cardiovascular conditions. As a result, when an employee goes out on disability, the corporation is not only paying the cost of the medical treatment and the income-replacement payments but also must bear the costs of hiring and training replacement personnel.

  • Obesity May Begin at the Office. Health Day News – Being a desk jockey weighs heavily on workers, according to a study that finds the more a man sits at his desk, the more likely he is to be overweight. The finding suggests office work may be an important factor in the obesity epidemic.
  • Researchers at Queensland University examined data on nearly 1,600 male and female full-time workers. They found that workers sat an average of more than three hours a day, with 25 percent sedentary on the job for more than six hours a day. Higher total daily sitting time was associated with a 68 percent increased risk of being overweight or obese.

  • Effects of Physical Exercise on Anxiety, Depression, and Sensitivity to Stress: A Unifying Theory. Clinical Psychology Review 2001 Feb;21(1):33-61
  • Until recently, claims for the psychological benefits of physical exercise have tended to precede supportive evidence. Acutely emotional effects of exercise remain confusing, both positive and negative effects being reported. Results of cross-sectional and longitudinal studies are more consistent in indicating that aerobic exercise training has antidepressant and anxiolytic effects and protects against harmful consequences of stress.
  • Details of each of these effects remain unclear. Antidepressant and anxiolytic effects have been demonstrated most clearly in subclinical disorder, and clinical applications remain to be exploited. Cross-sectional studies link exercise habits to protection from harmful effects of stress on physical and mental health, but causality is not clear.
  • Nevertheless, the pattern of evidence suggests the theory that exercise training recruits a process that confers enduring resilience to stress. This view allows the effects of exercise to be understood in terms of existing psychobiological knowledge, and it can thereby provide the theoretical base that is needed to guide future research in this area.
  • Clinically, exercise training continues to offer clinical psychologists a vehicle for non-specific therapeutic social and psychological processes. It also offers a specific psychological treatment that may be particularly effective for patients for whom more conventional psychological interventions are less acceptable.

  • Current Opinion in Psychiatry, Volume 1817, Number 46
  • Results of the studies continue to support a growing literature suggesting that exercise, physical activity, and physical-activity interventions have beneficial effects across several physical and mental-health outcomes. Generally, participants engaging in regular physical activity display more desirable health outcomes across a variety of physical conditions.
  • Similarly, participants in randomized clinical trials of physical-activity interventions show better health outcomes, including better general and health-related quality of life, better functional capacity, and better mood states.
  • Summary: The studies have several implications for clinical practice and research. Most work suggests that exercise and physical activity are associated with better quality of life and health outcomes. Therefore, assessment and promotion of exercise and physical activity may be beneficial in achieving desired benefits across several populations. Several limitations were noted, particularly in research involving randomized clinical trials. These trials tend to involve limited sample sizes with short follow-up periods, thus limiting the clinical implications of the benefits associated with physical activity.

  • A Prospective Study of Recreational Physical Activity and Breast Cancer Risk. Conclusion: These results contribute to the body of evidence suggesting that higher levels of adult physical activity afford modest protection against breast cancer.

  • Physical Activity and Older Americans-Benefits and Strategies Millions of Americans, most of them older adults, suffer from chronic illnesses that can be prevented or improved through regular physical activity. In a 1993 study, 14 percent of all deaths in the United States were attributed to insufficient activity and inadequate nutrition (McGinnis and Foege, 1993).
  • Lack of physical activity is an important contributor to many of the most important chronic diseases for older Americans, including heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and high blood pressure. Lack of physical activity, along with poor nutrition, is a major contributor to the growing epidemic of obesity in the United States.

  • Health Benefits of Regular Physical Activity: Regular physical activity has beneficial effects on most (if not all) organ systems, and consequently it prevents a broad range of health problems and diseases. Physical activity in older persons produces many types of health benefits:
  • It can reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease.
  • It can aid in the management of active problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, or high cholesterol.
  • Lower risk of developing high blood pressure. Exercise also lowers blood pressure in individuals who have hypertension.
  • Lower risk of obesity.
  • Improved mood and relief of symptoms of depression.
  • Improved quality of life and improved functioning.
  • Improved function in persons with arthritis. Lower overall mortality. Benefits were greatest among the most active persons but were also evident for individuals who reported only moderate activity.
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease. The cardiac risk of being inactive is comparable to the risk from smoking cigarettes.
  • Lower risk of colon cancer.
  • Lower risk of diabetes.
  • Lower risk of falls and injury

  • Research studies have demonstrated these benefits in both middle-aged and in older persons, and in men and women. Because these chronic diseases increase with age, older persons may benefit even more than those in middle-age from physical activity.
  • A recent study of older men in Baltimore demonstrated that leisure time activity was more important for protecting against heart disease in men over 65 than in younger men (Talbot, Morrell, Metter et al., 2002).

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