Stress management at the worksite: Reversal of symptoms profile and cardiovascular dysregulation

Daniela Lucini, Silvano Riva, Paolo Pizzinelli, Massimo Pagani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Work stress may increase cardiovascular risk either indirectly, by inducing unhealthy life styles, or directly, by affecting the autonomic nervous system and arterial pressure. We hypothesized that, before any apparent sign of disease, work-related stress is already accompanied by alterations of RR variability profile and that a simple onsite stress management program based on cognitive restructuring and relaxation training could reduce the level of stress symptoms, revert stress-related autonomic nervous system dysregulation, and lower arterial pressure. We compared 91 white-collar workers, enrolled at a time of work downsizing (hence, in a stress condition), with 79 healthy control subjects. Psychological profiles were assessed by questionnaires and autonomic nervous system regulation by spectral analysis of RR variability. We also tested a simple onsite stress management program (cognitive restructuring and relaxation training) in a subgroup of workers compared with a sham subgroup (sham program). Workers presented an elevated level of stress-related symptoms and an altered variability profile as compared with control subjects (low-frequency component of RR variability was, respectively, 65.2±2 versus 55.3±2 normalized units; P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Autonomic
  • Hypertension
  • Lifestyle
  • Nervous system
  • Prevention
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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