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All employees in a team-based community nursing home in a Norwegian town received information about the study and were invited to participate.
The ethics committee for medical research in health region I of Norway approved the study.
Background It is a common belief that physical exercise at the workplace decreases subjective health complaints and reduces sickness absence, but this is not supported by previous randomized studies.
Aims To evaluate the effectiveness of physical exercise at the workplace.
Complete sickness absence data were collected from a community register for two comparable 7-month periods.It was concluded that exercise at the workplace does not reduce sickness absence and the four studies cited a high dropout rate, ranging from 22 to 52% as a major factor.Two other randomized studies that were not identified by the original search parameters [9,10] found that exercise at the workplace significantly reduced sickness absence.The participants could attend exercise classes held weekly at two different times.The intervention was founded on an aerobic fitness model  designed to improve cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and flexibility. In addition, classes regarding physical exercise, nutrition and stress management were offered to the intervention group. Blind assessments (walking test and questionnaire) were carried out at baseline and 6 months after the first day of the intervention.
The control group was told to continue their ordinary activity.