The effect of a physical and combined health promotion intervention programme on some selected health indicators of South African Colliery Executives
Grace, Jeanne Martin
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In many countries the focus of the employer's health policy has shifted from the emphasis of treating the disease to the preventative paradigm, which focuses more on the promotion of employees' health. Literature indicates that health promotion programmes have various positive consequences. The aim of this research is therefore to establish some physical, physiological and bio-chemical health profiles of colliery executives in South Africa as well as to determine the effect of a physical and a combined physical and health promotion intervention programme on the parameters mentioned above. Finally, this study aims to determine the effect of a physical and a combined physical and health promotion intervention programme on coronary prone South African colliery executives. In this study an availability, non-randomized sample of 143 white male executives from five collieries, aged 26-58 (x 41.7, ± 7.98 years), was used. These collieries are spread over two South African provinces namely Mpumalanga and Gauteng. Subjects who were on medication that could affect their cholesterol, blood pressure and aerobic fitness values were excluded from the study. The following parameters were used in this study: aerobic fitness, shoulder/arm, strength/endurance (push-ups) abdominal strength/endurance (sit-ups), flexibility, fat percentage, waist-and-hip circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking and leisure-time physical activity participation. ANOVA was used for statistical data analysis - providing descriptive and summarising statistics. One-way analysis of variance was used to determine relationships between variables. The Tukey post-hoc test was used to determine whether certain groups differed statistically significant from each other. It is clear from the descriptive data that flexibility (56.7%), sit-ups (39.7%), aerobic fitness (44.8%), fat percentage (31.4%), BMI (35.7%) and WHR (44.7%) fall into the undesired health zone. Regarding the physiological parameter blood pressure, 16.8% (systolic blood pressure) and 21.7% (diastolic blood pressure) fall into the undesired health zone; regarding the bio-chemical parameter cholesterol, 53.2% falls into the undesired health zone. With regard to some parameters, it appears that the experimental group showed statistically significant changes from Test 1 to Test 3, while the control group showed no statistically significant changes. The reason for this may vary from respondent to respondent already showing "normal" baseline values, probably due to their relative young age (Z=41 years) as to programme preferences and programme adherence. It must, however, be kept in mind that only physical, physiological and bio-chemical parameters were assessed. The health promotion activities focused more on the participants' knowledge empowerment. If these parameters were also included in the assessments the "enriched" programme might have provided some advantages that may have led to long term commitment and behaviour change. Physical fdness intervention (control group) is equally effective in addressing the primary coronary risk factors compared to a programme enriched with health promotion activities (experimental group). However, it seems that the experimental group showed a better response as far as lifestyle change (smoking) and physical activity were concerned. Assessment of other psycho-emotional parameters might indicate a different picture. Respectively 11.7% and 7.6% of the experimental and control group stopped smoking while 20.8% and 16.3% of the experimental and control group respectively reported a higher leisure-time physical activity participation. Regarding aerobic fitness and blood pressure, the average baseline values moved from the high risk category to the "normal" category, while the total cholesterol concentration in the post training values decreased with 12.5% and 14.8% in the experimental and control group respectively.
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