J Korean Acad Fundam Nurs.  2001 Dec;8(3):293-301.

Effects of Relaxation Therapy and Exercise Therapy on the ACTH and Cortisol Hormone Level in Workers

  • 1Department of Nursing College of Medicine, Dongguk University, Korea. ihk2624@dongguk.ac.kr


The purpose
of this study was to investigate the effect of exercise therapy and relaxation therapy on the level of ACTH and cortisol in workers and to determine, from this information, the effectiveness of applied exercise therapy and relaxation therapy as a nursing intervention method for workers experiencing stress. METHOD: The subjects were divided into an exercise therapy group, a relaxation therapy group, and a control group. The research design was a nonequivalent control group pretest-posttest design (exercise therapy: n=12, relaxation therapy: n=12, control group, the group without exercise or relaxation therapy: n=12). The subjects in the exercise therapy group were given a particular intensity for each kp over 30 min, bicycle ergometer which uses the LX PE training system before and after four weeks of training. The subjects did 60-70% exercise intensity exercise therapy for eight weeks. The relaxation therapy subjects were trained using a modified Jacobson's relaxation technique for eight weeks. The exercise and relaxation therapy groups were trained at the following intensity for eight weeks (3 times/week, 30 min/day). Changes in the levels of ACTH and cortisol were identified. Two-way ANOVA and multiple range test (SNK: Student Newman Keul) were used to examine the effects of exercise therapy and relaxation therapy at four and eight weeks.. RESULT: 1. Changes in the level of ACTH in the relaxation therapy group were statistically significant at .05 level, and were better than that of the exercise therapy group after eight weeks. But there was no significant difference between the exercise therapy group and the control group. 2. Change in the level of cortisol in the relaxation therapy group were statistically significant at .05 level as compared to the exercise therapy group and the control group after four weeks, but not after eight weeks. Also, the relaxation therapy was statistically significant at .05 level after four weeks compared to before treatment, but there was a tendency toward increased cortisol after eight weeks.
Relaxation therapy was found to be more effective in stress treatment than exercise therapy and as such is a desirable nursing intervention method for stress hormone reduction in workers.


Exercise therapy; Relaxation techniques; Hormones
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