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Journal Article


Schilling R, Colledge F, Ludyga S, Pühse U, Brand S, Gerber M. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16(13): e16132349.


Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Basel, 4052 Basel, Switzerland.


(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






Background: Chronic exposure to occupational stress may lead to negative health consequences. Creating less stressful work environments and making employees physically and psychologically more resilient against stress are therefore two major public health concerns. This study examined whether cardiorespiratory fitness moderated the association between occupational stress, cardiovascular risk, and mental health. Methods: Stress was assessed via the Effort-Reward Imbalance and Job Demand-Control models in 201 police officers (36% women, Mage = 38.6 years). Higher levels of blood pressure, blood lipids, blood sugar, and unfavorable body composition were considered as cardiovascular risk factors. Burnout, insomnia and overall psychological distress were used as mental health indicators. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed with a submaximal bicycle test. Results: High cardiorespiratory fitness levels were associated with a reduced cardiometabolic risk, whereas high stress levels were associated with better mental health. Among participants who perceived a high Effort-Reward Imbalance, those with high fitness levels showed lower overall cardiovascular risk scores than their colleagues with low fitness levels. Conclusions: Work health programs for police officers should consider the early screening of burnout, sleep disturbances, and overall mental wellbeing. To increase cardiovascular health, including fitness tests in routine health checks and promoting physical activity to further increase cardiorespiratory fitness appears worthwhile.

Language: en


cardiorespiratory fitness; cardiovascular health; mental health; police officers; psychosocial stress


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