Stress can cause or aggravate physical problems; it is not only a mental issue. Research suggests that physical fitness can reduce workplace stress. Fitness is protective against stress-related health problems such as high blood pressure and may reduce sick days. The research was published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and involved 200 Swedish employees. People whose cardiovascular fitness level was higher fared better during high stress periods than their counterparts.
- Sport scientists in Switzerland and Sweden discovered a high-fitness level appears to protect individuals from the effects of work-related stress.
- It is a well-known fact that fitness and well-being go hand in hand. But researchers now find that being in good shape also protects against the health problems that arise when we feel particularly stressed at work.
- It also raises the likelihood of cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and an unfavorable blood lipid profile.
“Researchers demonstrated for the first time that the relationship between the subjective perception of stress and cardiovascular risk factors is moderated by fitness. In other words, among the stressed employees, there were particularly large differences between individuals with a high, medium, and low fitness level.”