Manual workers are physically active during work-shift, but they run a higher risk of cardiovascular disease compared to higher educated office workers. Whilst manual workers with regular physical activity during leisure time may have a lower risk, the long-term effects of employer-motivated physical activity during leisure time have not been extensively evaluated.Background
We aimed to evaluate health effects of employer motivated leisure physical activity (PA) one year after a PA-program, and to study differences between high and low educated participants.Methods
We examined 121 employees in road maintenance before and after an 8 week PA-program. After 15 months, we reexamined 98 participants. We divided self-reported PA-levels into;Methods
We obtained blood pressure, resting heart rate (RHR), blood samples (lipids, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), C-reactive protein (CRP) and selected biomarkers), and applied mixed models to evaluate associations between PA and health parameters.Results
The PA-program yielded favourable health outcomes. Not all were sustainable at the 15 month follow-up. Physical activity was back to baseline values. The diastolic blood pressure increased among men during the 15 month follow-up. Favourable effects on lipids were only maintainable among those who were regularly physical active. Compared to baseline, HbA1c, CRP (log) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were reduced significantly at the 15 month follow-up of 0.06 mmol/L (95% CI: −0.11 to −0.01), 0.25 mg/L (95% CI: −0.46 to −0.04) and 0.39 pg/mL (95% CI: −0.75 to −0.04). Inflammatory markers such as CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α decreased among the low educated men during follow-up.Conclusion
We found a reduction of HbA1c, CRP and IL-6, mostly pronounced among individuals who remained physically active throughout the 15 months, one year after termination of the PA- program motivated by employer. Manual workers benefit from workplace PA-programs.