Volume 59 (2017) Issue 2 Pages 122-130
Aim: This study was designed to clarify the effects of active rest, with a focus on the practice of short-time group exercise by workplace units, on personal relationships, mental health, physical activity, and work ability among workers. Methods: Fifty-nine white-collar workers (40 males and 19 females) performed our active rest (short-time exercise) program, which consists of warm-up, cognitive functional training, aerobic exercise, resistance training and cool-down for 10 minutes per day, 3 times per week during their lunch breaks for 10 weeks. Participants from a workplace unit were randomly allocated to the intervention (five workplaces, n=29) or control groups (six workplaces, n=30). The participants' anthropometric measurements, and their Profile of Mood States (POMS) 2, Brief Job Stress Questionnaire (BJSQ), physical activity levels and Work Ability Index were examined at the baseline and after the 10-week intervention. Results: After 10 weeks, physical activity levels, especially the time spent in moderate and vigorous intensity, increased in the intervention group (p<0.05). The items of "vigor-activity" and "friendliness" improved in POMS 2, while "vigor," "interpersonal stress," "support from superiors, colleagues, and family/friends," and "job satisfaction" improved in BJSQ in the intervention group (p<0.05). In the intervention group, the number of exercise participation was positively correlated with the change in "vigor-activity" in POMS 2 (r=0.467, p=0.011). Conclusions: These results suggest that the practice of active rest by workplace units is important for improving personal relationships, mental health, and physical activity among workers.