Randomized Controlled Trial Investigating the Role of Exercise in the Workplace to Improve Work Ability, Performance, and Patient-Reported Symptoms Among Older Workers With Osteoarthritis

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a 12-week workplace exercise program on work ability, performance, and patient-reported symptoms in older university employees with knee and/or hip osteoarthritis.

Methods:

Twenty-four participants with clinical hip and/or knee osteoarthritis were randomized to exercise or no exercise. At baseline and follow-up, several work (work ability, resilience), patient-reported (pain, physical function, depressive symptoms, self-efficacy), and performance outcomes (hip and knee strength, mobility performance) were measured.

Results:

Significant improvements in work ability (P < 0.049) and patient-reported outcomes (pain, function, depressive symptoms) existed in the exercise group. No improvements were demonstrated in the no exercise group.

Conclusions:

Exercise in the workplace improved work ability and patient-reported symptoms in older workers with osteoarthritis. The benefits of workplace exercise programs should be studied in a larger sample in which attention is given to improving exercise adherence.

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