Background A growing body of evidence has shown the association between job stress and personal burn-out, but none has addressed on the modification effect of exercise. This study aims to investigate whether exercise is beneficial to job stress related burn-out and how much exercise is needed.
Method This cross-sectional study applied self-answered exercise habit, the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) and the Chinese version of Copenhagen Burnout Inventory to assess exercise frequency, job stress and burn-out. Exercise frequency was defined as the number of the day doing exercise 30 minutes or more in a certain period. Multiple linear regression with interaction term was used to assess the modification effect of various exercise frequency.
Result There are 1,185 participants include 654 females and 531 males. The average age is 34 years old (standard deviation 9.0 years). After adjustment with gender and age, higher job control, psychological demand, workplace justice, employers’ support and coworkers’ support and lower job demand were significantly associated with lower burn-out (β = −0.54, p = 0.004, β = −1.24, p < 0.0001, β = −7.88, p < 0.0001, β = −9.92, p < 0.0001, β = −5.87, p < 0.0001, β = 2.11, p < 0.0001, respectively). Increase in exercise frequency was associated with a dose-response improvement in the resistance to job stress. Comparing to workers with no exercise habit, those having exercise three times or more per week reported significantly less burn-out along with the reduction in workplace justice and employers’ support. (p value for interaction: <0.0001 and <0.0001, respectively).
Conclusion Regular exercise with three times or more per week may prevent job stress induced burn-out, especially in workplaces with lower justice and employers’ support.
- Keyword: Exercise
- job stress
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