Attention to progression principles and variables of exercise prescription in workplace-related resistance training interventions: A systematic review of controlled trials

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Background: The workplace is an important setting for adult health promotion including exercise training such as resistance training (RT). Since the reporting of exercise training interventions is generally inconsistent, the objective of this systematic review was to investigate the attention to principles of RT progression and variables of RT exercise prescription in workplace-related RT interventions.
Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in the databases LIVIVO, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science (2000–2020). Controlled trials with apparently healthy “employees” and a main focus on RT were included. RT principles and variables were extracted and rated by two reviewers (reported, not reported, or unclear). Sum scores for each RT intervention and percentages regarding each principle and variable were calculated.
Results: Overall, 21 articles were included (18 primary studies, 3 protocols). Summarized narratively, the interventions showed different positive effects on strength- or performance-related and/or health- or complaint-related outcomes. The reporting of the RT principles and variables was varied [progressive overload: 94% of the studies, specificity: 78%, variation (periodization): 39%, muscle action: 94%, loading: 94%, volume; 67%, exercise selection: 89%, exercise order: 47%, rest periods between sets: 33%, rest periods between exercises: 27%, repetition velocity: 44%, and frequency: 100%].
Conclusion: Several key RT principles and variables were reported inconsistently, reducing reproducibility and pointing to the need for standardized RT intervention reporting in workplace-related interventions. Exercise science and workplace promotion should be further linked, since accurate reporting is a prerequisite for transferring robust findings into practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number832523
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 25.03.2022

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© 2022 Stassen, Baulig, Müller and Schaller.

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