Mental Stress and Strain during Work and Leisure: A pilot study among marathon school participants.

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Mental Stress and Strain during Work and Leisure: A pilot study among marathon school participants.

The aim of the study is to describe and measure the mental and physical stress and strain during a work day and a leisure day.  Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted on 13 participants of a marathon school aged between 23 to 58 and a total of five men and eight women.  The participants were given a physical fitness test at the beginning of the study.  They were then asked to fill out questionnaires via cell phone asking about their physical and mental strain and capacity.  The heart rate was monitored ambulatory and analyzed with a commercial software programme. Results   The average stress time during the work day was 401 minutes and the free day stress time was 313,8 minutes.  The average heart rate during the work day was 72 beats per minute and during the free day it was 93,3 beats per minute.  The average high frequency during the work day was 2175,4, (indicating parasympathetic response) and the average low frequency was 3425,6, (indicating sympathetic response).  The free day average high frequency was 1264,6 and the average low frequency was 1882,7.  The work day MET Max was 13,2 and the free day MET Max was 12,7.  The estimated oxygen consumption during the work day was 5,7 and during the free day it was 10.  The work day relaxation time was 111,6 minutes and the free day relaxation time was 46,2.  Those who reported higher perceived fitness recorded higher work ability.  The results for the crosstabulation of perceived fitness and stress were inconclusive.  The cross tabulation of perceived fitness and free day relaxation was also inconclusive.  Conclusions The subjects reported more stress time during the work day than the free day.  The average low frequency was higher than the high frequency during the work day, which suggests sympathetic dominance (mental stress).  During the free day the average low frequency was a little higher than the high frequency.  The MET Max was a little higher during the work day than the free day; however, it is not high enough to make an association.  The VO2 and the average heart rate were higher during the free day than the work day. This shows that there are less physical demands during the work day than during the free day.  During the free day there was less relaxation time than during the work day.  The subjects that rated higher perceived fitness rated higher work ability.  The results of the crosstabulations of perceived fitness with stress and relaxation (recovery) were inconclusive. Asiasanat:job strain, mental strain, physical strain, functional capacity, physical capacity, mental capacity

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