Der Verlauf ausgewählter Stressreaktionen unter physischen und psychosozialen Stressoren: Implikationen für die Betriebliche Gesundheitsförderung

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Abstract

Introduction: Psychological disorders still take a major role when it comes to worker dis-ability. Physical activity is now an integral part to counteract psychosocial stress. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is used as a time-efficient stimulus in mass, competitive, or health sports. However, current research shows that, depending on the intensity cho-sen, physical activity causes a hormonal as well as an autonomic stress response. Up to now, it is not clear how intense the stress-generating effect can be classified as com-pared to a standardized psychosocial stressor. It is also unclear the extent to which stress-related adaptation processes apply across different stressors and what beneficial effects are associated with acute stress. The implications of stress and stress-related disorders are particularly relevant for the relatively new research field of occupational health. Previous researches show great heterogeneity in terms of research questions, representativeness, and methodology. The stress prevention/stress management pro-grams used here are currently based on non-evidence-based interventions that usually do not use objective, biological stress parameters to evaluate the interventions. The aim of the present work is to quantify the stress-generating but also potentially beneficial ef-fects of intense physical activity with the help of a standardized psychosocial stressor and therefore create a framework for evidence-based research and intervention approaches, especially for the workplace.
Methods: 32 healthy young men were exposed to both acute physical stress (multiple Wingate-test – WG) and acute psychosocial stress (Trier Social Stress Test - TSST). To assess the objective stress adaptations, cortisol, heart rate variability (HRV), and lactate were analyzed before and after stress induction. Next, the state version of the State-Trait-Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Primary Appraisal Secondary Appraisal (PASA), and a visual analog scale (VAS) were used as stress-related questionnaires to determine sub-jective adaptation processes. In addition, the neurotrophic brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was measured before and after the TSST as well as in a control condition.
Results: Both the WG and the TSST led to a significant change in cortisol, HRV, lactate, and perceived anxiety compared to baseline. In contrast to the WG, the TSST resulted in a significantly higher stress index and a more pronounced threat dimension of the PASA.
While a significant, TSST-dependent BDNF change was detected, no significant change could be found in the control condition.
Conclusion: Besides the beneficial effects of HIIT training, intense physical activity can be classified as a stressor. Thereby it is rated subjectively less relevant compared to psycho-social stress: A significantly increased biological stress reaction does not equate to the same amount of perceived stress. At the same time, the TSST-related BDNF-increase showed a beneficial biological change as a result of an acute psychosocial stressor. Fu-ture research should build from the results of the present study to create evidence-based interventions in particular for the workplace
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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