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Open AccessArticle

Influence of Regular Physical Activity on Mitochondrial Activity and Symptoms of Burnout—An Interventional Pilot Study

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Psychiatric Clinics (UPK), Center for Affective, Stress and Sleep Disorders, University of Basel, 4001 Basel, Switzerland
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Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, Division of Sport Science and Psychosocial Health, University of Basel, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
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Substance Abuse Prevention Research Center, Health Institute, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences (KUMS), 6719851115 Kermanshah, Iran
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Sleep Disorders Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences (KUMS), 6719851115 Kermanshah, Iran
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School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 1416753955 Tehran, Iran
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Transfaculty Research Platform, Molecular and Cognitive Neuroscience, Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health, Psychiatric Clinics (UPK), University of Basel, 4001 Basel, Switzerland
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Psychiatric Services Solothurn and Faculty of Medicine of the University of Basel, 4503 Solothurn, Switzerland
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Psychiatric Hospital Sonnenhalde, 4125 Riehen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030667
Received: 23 January 2020 / Revised: 26 February 2020 / Accepted: 26 February 2020 / Published: 2 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatry)
Background: Occupational burnout is both a serious public and individual health concern. Psychopharmacological and psychological interventions are often employed, while interventions involving physical activity have been less frequently studied. The aims of the present study were (1) to investigate the effects of physical activity on mitochondrial activity levels and symptoms of burnout, (2) to compare the mitochondrial activity levels and symptoms of burnout of individuals suffering burnout with those of healthy controls (HCs), and (3) to explore the associations between mitochondrial activity and burnout symptoms. Methods: Twelve males with burnout (mean age: M = 45.8 years) took part in the study. At baseline and after 12 weeks of an intervention involving physical activity, participants completed questionnaires covering symptoms of burnout and depression. In parallel, blood samples were taken to measure changes in mitochondrial functional outcomes, such as ATP levels, oxygen consumption and complex I. For comparison, baseline values of healthy controls (HCs; depression and burnout questionnaires; blood samples) were assessed. Results: Over time, symptoms of burnout (emotional exhaustion and depersonalization) and depression significantly decreased in participants with burnout (large effect sizes) but remained significantly higher than those of HCs (medium to large effect sizes). Personal accomplishment increased over time (medium effect size) but was still lower than for HCs (large effect size). At baseline and compared to HCs, individuals with burnout had significantly lower ATP levels of mitochondrial functional outcomes. Over time, mitochondrial activity levels increased among individuals with burnout. High baseline mitochondrial activity was significantly correlated with lower depression and burnout scores both at baseline and at the end of the study. Conclusions: In individuals with burnout, regular physical activity had positive effects on mitochondrial activity and on symptoms of burnout and depression. However, when compared to healthy controls, full remission was not achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: mitochondrial activity; physical activity; burnout; ATP; OXPHOS; decylubiquinone (DBQ)/hexaammineruthenium (HAR)-ratio; respiration mitochondrial activity; physical activity; burnout; ATP; OXPHOS; decylubiquinone (DBQ)/hexaammineruthenium (HAR)-ratio; respiration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Brand, S.; Ebner, K.; Mikoteit, T.; Lejri, I.; Gerber, M.; Beck, J.; Holsboer-Trachsler, E.; Eckert, A. Influence of Regular Physical Activity on Mitochondrial Activity and Symptoms of Burnout—An Interventional Pilot Study. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 667.

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