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The Effect of Mechanical Massage and Mental Training on Heart Rate Variability and Cortisol in Swedish Employees: A Randomized Explorative Pilot Study
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology,Amsterdam, (NLD).
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Department of Clinical, Neuro and Developmental Psychology,Amsterdam, Netherland (NLD); University of Skövde, School of Health and Education, Skövde, (SWE).
University of Skövde, School of Health and Education, Skövde, (SWE).
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Section of Anthrozoology and Applied Ethology, Uppsala, (SWE).
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2020 (English)In: Frontiers In Public Health, ISSN 2296-2565, Vol. 8, article id 82Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Work-related stress is relatively common in modern society and is a major cause of sick-leave. Thus, effective stress reducing interventions are needed. This study examined the effects of mental training and mechanical massage, on employee's heart rate variability (HRV) and plasma cortisol at their workplaces. Moreover, it was investigated whether baseline systolic blood pressure (SBP) can explain differences in effectiveness of the intervention. Ninety-three participants from four workplaces were randomly assigned to one of the five programs: (I) Mechanical massage and mental training combined, II) Mechanical massage, III) Mental training, IV) Pause, or V) Control. HRV and plasma cortisol were measured at baseline and after 4 and 8 weeks. SBP was measured at baseline. On the reduction of cortisol levels, a small effect of the mechanical massage program was found, whereas no effect was found for the other programs. None of the programs showed any effect on HRV. Nonetheless, when the level of systolic blood pressure was taken into account, some small beneficial effects on HRV and cortisol of mental training and the mechanical massage were found. This exploratory pilot-study provides useful information for future studies that aim to reduce stress among employees.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 8, article id 82
Keywords [en]
cortisol, heart rate variability, mechanical massage, mental training, stress, systolic blood pressure
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health Physiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-15118DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00082ISI: 000525723900001PubMedID: 32266197Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85083229887OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-15118DiVA, id: diva2:1424256
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Knowledge Foundation, 20110142Available from: 2020-04-16 Created: 2020-04-16 Last updated: 2024-01-19

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Ekström-Bergström, Anette

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