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Physical fitness level affects perception of chronic stress in military trainees


Tuch, Carolin; Teubel, Thomas; La Marca, Roberto; Roos, Lilian; Annen, Hubert; Wyss, Thomas (2017). Physical fitness level affects perception of chronic stress in military trainees. Stress and Health, 33(5):490-497.

Abstract

This study investigated whether physical fitness affects the perception of chronic stress in military trainees while controlling for established factors influencing stress perception. The sample consisted of 273 men (20.23 ± 1.12 years, 73.56 ± 10.52 kg, 1.78 ± 0.06 m). Physical fitness was measured by progressive endurance run (maximum oxygen uptake; VO2 max), standing long jump, seated shot put, trunk muscle strength, and one leg standing test. Perceived stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Questionnaire in Weeks 1 and 11 of basic military training (BMT). VO2 max and four influencing variables (perceived stress in Week 1, neuroticism, transformational leadership style, and education level) explained 44.44% of the variance of the increase in perceived stress during 10 weeks of BMT (R(2)  = 0.444, F = 23.334, p < .001). The explained variance of VO2 max was 4.14% (R(2)  = 0.041), with a Cohen's f(2) effect size of 0.045 (assigned as a small effect by Cohen, ). The results indicate a moderating influence of good aerobic fitness on the varied level of perceived stress. We conclude that it is advisable to provide conscripts with a specific endurance training program prior to BMT for stress prevention reasons.

Abstract

This study investigated whether physical fitness affects the perception of chronic stress in military trainees while controlling for established factors influencing stress perception. The sample consisted of 273 men (20.23 ± 1.12 years, 73.56 ± 10.52 kg, 1.78 ± 0.06 m). Physical fitness was measured by progressive endurance run (maximum oxygen uptake; VO2 max), standing long jump, seated shot put, trunk muscle strength, and one leg standing test. Perceived stress was measured using the Perceived Stress Questionnaire in Weeks 1 and 11 of basic military training (BMT). VO2 max and four influencing variables (perceived stress in Week 1, neuroticism, transformational leadership style, and education level) explained 44.44% of the variance of the increase in perceived stress during 10 weeks of BMT (R(2)  = 0.444, F = 23.334, p < .001). The explained variance of VO2 max was 4.14% (R(2)  = 0.041), with a Cohen's f(2) effect size of 0.045 (assigned as a small effect by Cohen, ). The results indicate a moderating influence of good aerobic fitness on the varied level of perceived stress. We conclude that it is advisable to provide conscripts with a specific endurance training program prior to BMT for stress prevention reasons.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Applied Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry and Mental health, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:01 Nov 2017 10:49
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 11:00
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1532-3005
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.2732
PubMed ID:27957824

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