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The Effect of Worksite Physical Activity Intervention on Physical Capacity, Health, and Productivity: A 1-Year Randomized Controlled Trial

Pedersen, Mogens T. PhD; Blangsted, Anne K. PhD; Andersen, Lars L. PhD; Jørgensen, Marie B. MS; Hansen, Ernst A. PhD; Sjøgaard, Gisela PhD, DrMedSc

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 7 - p 759-770
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181a8663a
Original Articles

Objective: To investigate the effect of two contrasting physical activity worksite interventions versus a reference intervention (REF) on various health outcomes.

Methods: A 1-year randomized controlled trial was conducted with specific resistance training (SRT), all-round physical exercise (APE), and REF.

Results: SRT and APE compared with REF showed significant reductions in systolic blood pressure (∼6 mm Hg), body fat percentage (∼2.2 body fat%), as well as shoulder and back pain (∼30% reduction in duration). Muscle strength (APE and SRT) and maximal oxygen uptake (APE) increased approximately 10%.

Conclusions: Worksite intervention with both SRT as well as APE is recommended, since these activities compared with REF resulted in clinically relevant reductions of cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome-related risk factors as well as musculoskeletal pain symptoms, in combination with minor increases in physical capacity.

From the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences (Dr Pedersen), University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; National Research Centre for the Working Environment (Dr Blangsted, Dr Andersen, Dr Jørgensen), Copenhagen, Denmark; Department of Physical Performance (Dr Hansen), Norwegian School of Sport Sciences Oslo, Norway; and Department of Physiology and Biomechanics (Dr Sjøgaard), Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.

CME Available for this Article at

The authors have no financial interest related to this research.

Address correspondence to: Mogens T. Pedersen, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Nørre Allé 51, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine