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Longitudinal associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and stress-related exhaustion, depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances.

Journal article
Authors Agneta Lindegård Andersson
Gunilla Wastensson
Emina Hadzibajramovic
Anna Grimby-Ekman
Published in BMC public health
Volume 19
Issue 1
Pages 1726
ISSN 1471-2458
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Section of Occupational and environmental medicine
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Health Metrics
Pages 1726
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-8081-...
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...
Keywords Anxiety; Cardiorespiratory fitness; Depression; Longitudinal associations; Sleep quality; Stress-related exhaustion disorder
Subject categories Psychiatry

Abstract

In the last few years, so-called "common mental disorders", including adjustment disorder and stress-related exhaustion, have outrivalled musculoskeletal disorders as being the leading cause of long-term sick leave in Sweden. Cardiorespiratory fitness level defined as "the maximal amount of physiological work that an individual can do as measured by oxygen consumption" has in many studies shown to reduce the risk of several life-style related diseases and moreover to improve mood, well-being and physical performance. The aim of the present study was to investigate, longitudinal associations between cardiorespiratory fitness and self-reported physical activity levels and the severity of symptoms connected to stress-related exhaustion, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances among women clinically diagnosed with stress-related exhaustion disorder (ED).The study was that of a longitudinal cohort study consisting of women (n = 88) diagnosed with stress-related ED in a specialist clinic in Gothenburg, Sweden. Cardiorespiratory fitness was measured with the Åstrand indirect test of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and subjective measures of physical activity levels were rated on 4-graded physical activity scale. To measure and follow symptoms of ED over time the SMBQ-questionnaire (Shirom Melamed Burnout Questionnaire) was used. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to measure depression and anxiety. A proxy variable for capturing overall disturbed sleep used to measure sleep. Longitudinal associations for continuous outcome variables and the dichotomous variable sleep were analysed using mixed- effects regression models with random intercepts. Regression coefficients along with the 95% confidence interval (CI) are presented as measures of association. Both exposures and the outcome were measured simultaneously over six waves (T1-T6).The results showed statistically significant associations between level of fitness and reduced symptoms of stress-related exhaustion over time. Best improvements over time were seen in patients having a medium cardiorespiratory fitness level. No associations could be found between cardiorespiratory fitness level over time and anxiety, depression or sleep disturbances.Having medium cardiorespiratory fitness was positivity associated with a more sustained reduction in symptoms of ED overtime compared to those having low or high cardiorespiratory fitness levels. The clinical implication following this result is that an individual recommendation based on a medium level of physical activity in line with the recommendations from ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) is preferable compared to recommendations including more vigorous physical activity in order to restore and sustainably reduce symptoms of exhaustion disorder over time.

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