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Title: Stress resilience, sleep and physical activity in older manual workers
Author: Black, Julie K.
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis investigated the relationships between stress resilience, sleep and physical activity (PA) in older manual workers (OMW). The first study aimed to explore latent profiles of individuals at risk of ill health and being based on presenteeism, stress resilience and PA. Profiles of OMW differed on work-related affect and health perceptions, and high levels of PA were associated with lower levels of presenteeism. As such, implementing interventions that focus on high levels of PA may be efficient in the reduction of presenteeism in some groups of OMW and potentially in improving stress resilience. The aim of study two in this thesis was to explore the relationship between perceived psychological resilience and work-related factors (presenteeism and work engagement) and the physiological response to acute psychological stress in a group of OMW. The results indicated that psychological resilience was not associated with work-related factors. In contrast, cardiovascular reactivity was significantly related to work-related factors such that workers with high levels of presenteeism and low work engagement had high heart rate reactivity to stress. Thus, exaggerated cardiac reactivity in workers with high presenteeism may provide a pathway to cardiovascular disease (CVD). Study three examined the association of PA levels, BMI and undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), which is common in OMW. Preliminary results indicated that undiagnosed OSA was associated with low levels of PA, although BMI was a stronger indicator, implying that PA may be a modifiable risk factor in OSA development. The aim of the fourth and final study of this thesis was to investigate the ability of a 12-week PA intervention to reduce moderate OSA independent of BMI in a group of older workers. The results indicated that the PA intervention was effective in the reduction of OSA independent of BMI and weight-loss and therefore, supports previous research that increasing PA may provide a means of managing OSA and improving cardiovascular health. In summary, increasing levels of PA, decreasing stress and promoting sufficient quality and duration of sleep may well be the pathway to promoting good health and wellbeing in older workers, which will enable them to continue a long and efficient working life.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QP Physiology