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. 2017;1022:77-84.
doi: 10.1007/5584_2017_45.

Preventive Chair Massage With Algometry to Maintain Psychosomatic Balance in White-Collar Workers

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Preventive Chair Massage With Algometry to Maintain Psychosomatic Balance in White-Collar Workers

Anna Cabak et al. Adv Exp Med Biol. .

Abstract

People working at computers often suffer from overload-related muscle pain, and physical and mental discomfort. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of chair massage, conducted in the workplace among white-collar workers, in relieving symptoms of musculoskeletal strain related to prolonged sitting posture. The study was conducted in 124 white-collar workers, 55 women and 69 men, aged 33.7 ± 7.6 years. Subjects were randomly assigned to three groups: chair massage program, relaxing music sessions, and a control group, each of four-week duration. Each group was evaluated before and after the program completion. Pain perception was assessed algometrically as a threshold for compression pain of neck muscles, measured in kg/cm2. The relaxation level was assessed from the heart rate variability. We found that the chair massage increased both the pain threshold in all tested muscles (p < 0.001) and the relaxation level from 31.9% to 41.6% (p < 0.05). In the group with music sessions, muscle pain threshold remained unchanged, except for the trapezoid muscle where it decreased (p < 0.05), while the relaxation level increased from 26.0% to 33.3% (p < 0.05). In both massage and relaxing music groups, there was a significant decrease in muscle tension (p < 0.01). Changes in the control group were inappreciable. We conclude that the chair massage performed in the workplace is an effective method for prevention of musculoskeletal overstrain related to prolonged sitting posture. The program seems worth implementing in various occupational environments.

Keywords: Algometry; Health prevention; Massage; Pain threshold; Relaxation; White-collar workers.

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