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Effectiveness of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Based Exercise Program for Healthy Employees

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DOI: 10.4236/ape.2015.54031    3,109 Downloads   3,683 Views   Citations


Psychological distress has a negative impact on employee health and work performance. However, there is a paucity of studies examining the effects of exercise on the psychological well-being of workers in the field of occupational health. In this study, we evaluated the benefits of a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based exercise program in reducing psychological distress among employees. A 10-week single-group study was conducted with employees aged 20 to 65 years who had no present or past serious medical illness. Eighty-one subjects participated in a 30-minute health education class instructed by a health-exercise teacher and psychologist, and subsequently completed a 10-week CBT-based exercise program developed by the authors. Post-intervention improvement of psychological distress on the Kessler psychological distress scale (K6) was the primary outcome. Forty-four subjects (54.3%) completed the program. For the subjects who completed the program, the mean total score on K6 significantly reduced from 4.39 to 3.53, with a mean change of 0.86 (p = 0.044). In addition, the total amount of weekly physical exercise significantly increased (p = 0.043) and daily amount of time spent sitting significantly decreased (p = 0.023). These findings suggest that a CBT-based exercise program may reduce the level of psychological distress and increase the amount of daily physical activity of healthy employees. In addition, self-help CBT-based exercise programs may have the potential to cause both positive mental and physical effects among non-clinical samples. Future studies including a control group and with higher completion rate among participants should be performed.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Takechi, S. , Kikuchi, T. , Horisawa, S. , Nakagawa, A. , Yoshimura, K. and Mimura, M. (2015) Effectiveness of a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Based Exercise Program for Healthy Employees. Advances in Physical Education, 5, 263-272. doi: 10.4236/ape.2015.54031.


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