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Health Improvement and Recovery Experiences During Vacation of School Teachers: The Benefit of Physical Activity

Authors
  • Pereira, Diana1
  • Iseli, Lionel1
  • Elfering, Achim1, 2
  • 1 University of Bern, Department of Psychology, Fabrikstrasse 8, Bern, 3012, Switzerland , Bern (Switzerland)
  • 2 University of Geneva, CISA, National Centre of Competence in Research, Affective Sciences, Geneva, Switzerland , Geneva (Switzerland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Occupational Health Science
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Sep 24, 2017
Volume
1
Issue
1-2
Pages
89–103
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s41542-017-0004-2
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The current study tested whether physical activity during a school teachers’ vacation is associated with health improvement. A second research question addressed whether recovery experiences (detachment, mastery, relaxation, and control) mediate between physical activity and health improvement. Forty-eight elementary school teachers filled out a questionnaire before and after vacation. Self-reported health status was assessed prior to vacation and during vacation and recovery experiences were assessed during vacation. Mean levels of self-reported general health increased during vacation. Health improvement was restricted to those teachers who were physically active during their vacation (p = .013). Analysis of covariance showed activity related group differences in recovery experiences during vacation. Those who did sports during their vacation reported significantly higher levels of detachment and mastery. The percentage of days with sports during vacation was positively related to experience of mastery and detachment during vacation. The mediation hypothesis was however not empirically supported. Physical activity during vacation corresponded with elementary teachers’ recovery and health improvement during vacation.

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