Brief Daily Resistance Training Eases Headaches

A paper published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health states that two minutes of exercise daily for 10 weeks caused office workers with neck and shoulder pain to experience fewer headaches.

The move to encourage office workers to stretch, walk, and exercise during the work day may get a boost from a paper that has been posted ahead of its publication in the Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health. Co-authors LL Andersen, O Mortensen, and MK Zebis, et al. report in "Effect of brief daily exercise on headache among adults - secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial" that their subjects experienced fewer headaches after engaging in two minutes of daily resistance training for 10 weeks. The journal is available here.

The study subjects were 198 office workers with frequent neck and shoulder pain, randomly allocated to either one of two intervention groups (10 weeks of resistance training with elastic tubing for 2-12 minutes per day, five times a week) or the control group, which received weekly health information. Secondary outcomes included changes in frequency, intensity, and duration of headaches after 10 weeks.

Compared with the control group, headache frequency decreased in the 2- and 12-minute intervention groups by 43 percent and 56 percent from baseline, respectively, they concluded. However, the intensity and duration of the remaining headaches were unaffected.

"The vast number of adult workers suffering from one or two days of weekly headaches and who could potentially comply with and benefit from brief exercise programs stresses the applicability of our findings," the authors said.

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