Do exercise and fitness buffer against stress among Swiss police and emergency response service officers?

Gerber, Markus, Kellmann, Michael, Hartmann, Tim and Puhse, Uwe (2010) Do exercise and fitness buffer against stress among Swiss police and emergency response service officers?. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11 4: 286-294. doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.02.004

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Author Gerber, Markus
Kellmann, Michael
Hartmann, Tim
Puhse, Uwe
Title Do exercise and fitness buffer against stress among Swiss police and emergency response service officers?
Journal name Psychology of Sport and Exercise   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1469-0292
Publication date 2010-07
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.02.004
Volume 11
Issue 4
Start page 286
End page 294
Total pages 9
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: During the past three decades, researchers from many disciplines have been interested in
whether exercise can help people to cope better with stress. Past research examining the stress buffering
effects of exercise, however, is limited by small sample sizes, poorly validated measures of stress, exercise
and health, and the exclusion of samples that are at-risk for chronic stress exposure. The purpose of the
present study, therefore, was to address these limitations by exploring the stress buffering effects of
exercise and fitness in a sample of police and emergency response service officers.
Design: The design of the current study is cross-sectional.
Method: The current study recruited 533 employees of the police force and emergency response service
corps in an urban area of German-speaking, North-Western Switzerland (22.9% females). All respondents
filled in a self-administered battery of validated questionnaires assessing stress, exercise, perceived
fitness and health.
Results: The data showed that increased stress was associated with poorer health. There was no significant
relationship between exercise and stress; however, increased fitness was associated with reduced
stress. Exercise and fitness were associated with enhanced health. Hierarchical regression analyses
revealed significant interactions, suggesting that exercise protects against stress-related health problems.
Exercise was a more powerful stress buffer than perceived physical fitness. Moreover, moderate exercise
was more suited to counteract stress than vigorous exercise activities.
Conclusions: The findings indicate that exercise and fitness can help foster a healthy and thriving
workforce that takes less sick leaves and feels better prepared to cope with chronic stress.
2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Absenteeism
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 25 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 18 Jul 2010, 00:00:54 EST