Erasmus plus - Stretching and Strengthening at Work interact

Stretching and Strengthening at Work

heart, lungs and blood vessels, for achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, and for prevention and control of chronic diseases, build stronger immunity and good mood (Exercise is Medicine , 2020). Aerobic exercise engages the whole body (including the heart, lungs, and skeletal muscles) in rhythmic activities of longer duration. Examples of aerobic activities are walking, jogging, running, dancing, biking, hiking, roller skating, swimming, aerobics, aquarobics, rowing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, basketball, football, hiking, doing exercise on the so-called cardio equipment in a gym (e.g. treadmill, stationary bike, stepper, rowing ergometer), but also snow shoveling, walking with dog, mowing the grass, collecting leaves. Moderate-intensity activities are characterized by faster heart beats than at rest, breathing is also accelerated. During aerobic activities of moderate intensity, a person cannot sing but can continue the conversation. The energy expenditure is 3–5.9 times higher then the energy expended at rest. On the 0-10 scale, where 0 means complete rest and 10 maximal effort, aerobic activities of moderate intensity are positioned between 5 and 6. Vigorous-intensity activities are characterized by even higher heart and breathing rates during exercise as compared to activities of moderate intensity. A person heavily sweats and feels difficult to continue working at this intensity; it is also hard or impossible to maintain normal conversation during this type of aerobic exercise. The energy expenditure is over 6 times higher then the energy expended at rest; the intensity is rated as 7 or 8 on 0-10 scale. The examples of various moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activities are depicted in Figure 20 .

Moderate-intensity physical activity (approximately 3 – 6 METs)

Vigorous-intensity physical activity (approximately > 6 METs)

Brisk walking



Walking up a hill


Fast cycling

Housework and domestic chores Traditional hunting and gathering


Fast swimming

Playing with children


Walking the dog

Heavy shoveling Digging ditches

General building tasks


Water polo

Table tennis




Figure 20 | The intensity of various physical activities. MET – metabolic equivalent. One MET is defined as the amount of energy expenditure at rest (1 kcal per kg per hour).

Walking or cycling to job Perhaps the easiest, time-fitting and low-cost way to get the recommended amount of physical activity for an employee might be active commuting to work ( Figure 21 ). A large amount of evidence is available concerning the advantages of active commuting for personal and public health (Mueller and co-workers , 2016). For example, a study evaluating commuting in Swedish workers between 1998 and 2015 demonstrated that active commuting (regardless dose) was associated with a lower risk from cardiovascular disease, thus encouraging more people to actively commute (Eriksson and co-workers , 2020). Cycling or walking (or using roller skates) to job may be a perfect type of moderate-intensity aerobic activity: if you actively commute 15 min to work and back home

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