Influence of physical activity on health-relevant parameters- a workplace health survey

Por: Dirk Lumkemann, Klaus-michael Braumann e Rudiger Reer.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Worksite is a key factor for delivery of exercise-based intervention programs to an important percentage of the adult population. These worksite programs may decisively influence the amount of physical activity and therefore, decrease the incidence of chronic diseases among a wide population range. This may substantially decrease the nationwide health-care costs [1,2].


In view of the objective of a workplace health care program, a company-wide anonymous survey of the employees of the SPAR Trade Corporation was carried out by means of a standardized questionnaire. On the whole, 3.370 persons participated. One of several aims of the health survey was to find out if there is a correlation between physical activity and different health-relevant parameters.

While 36.3% of the test persons exercised more than 1 h/week, 43.3% did not exercise at all and 20.4% only up to 1 h/week. A significant (p<0.001) increase of the inactive subjects (0 h of exercise/week) with increasing age ( 29 years: 35.6%; 30-49 years: 44.8%;  50 years: 48.1%) could be demonstrated. The physically inactive persons showed a significant (p<0,001) lower percentage of non-smokers (46.3 vs. 55.4%) and a significant (p<0.001) higher body mass index (27.35.8 vs. 23.22.5 kg/m2) in comparison to the active test persons. The inactive subjects complained significantly (p<0.001) more often about cardiovascular (8.9 vs. 7.4%) and stress symptoms (37.4 vs. 30.3%). In the inactive group 45.6% (active group: 52.6%) assessed their amount of exercise as sufficient and 18.2% (active group: 17.9%) as above average.


The present data reveal the lack of physical activity and the often uncritical assessment of exercise behaviour in wide population ranges. Therefore, a comprehensive intervention and education program, e.g. by means of a company-based health care program, appears to be necessary. Through this, health-relevant parameters which correlate with physical inactivity and is verified by the present data can be positively influenced [3,4].


[1]. Dishman R.K. et al. (1998). Am J Prev Med, 15, 344-361.
[2]. Emmons K.M. et al. (1999). J Occup Environ Med, 41, 545-555.
[3]. Harrell J.S. et al. (1996). AAOHN J, 44, 377-384.
[4]. Pelletier K.R. (1997). J Occup Environ Med, 39, 1154-1169.




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