Effects of a progressive muscle relaxation program on secretaries' self-reported job stress
The problem of the study was to determine the effect of a progressive muscle relaxation program on secretaries' self-reported job stress. It was hypothesized that there would be no difference in post-test scores of the control group and the experimental group on the Personal Strain subscale of the OSI-R questionnaire. It was also hypothesized that there would be no difference between the groups in post-test scores on the Occupational Stress subscale of the OSI-R questionnaire.The population of prospective subjects for the study consisted of Ball State University secretaries who were randomly selected and then randomly assigned to one of two groups. The experimental group received a multi-activity intervention which included: 1) a progressive muscle relaxation training session; 2) reminder sheets with the steps on how to do progressive muscle relaxation in case they forgot; 3) e-mail messages to remind them to do progressive muscle relaxation; and 4) the keeping of logs of their progressive muscle relaxation activities. The design of the study was a post-test only control group design. All subjects were asked to complete the OSI-Rquestionnaire at the end of the three-week intervention period. Descriptive statistics and two-tailed paired t-tests were used to analyze the data.The results indicated that there were no significant differences between the two groups on both the Personal Strain subscale and the Occupational Stress subscale of the OSI-R questionnaire. Based upon the results of this study, it was concluded that 15 minutes of progressive muscle relaxation did not make a difference in job stress levels of the subjects. Also, a three-week intervention period may not have been a sufficient amount of time to see results from the stress management technique used.Some of the recommendations for future study include using a larger sample size and using logs as a covariate for data analysis. Using a larger sample size could help create more variance in subjects and their responses. Having a covariate could help account for those individuals not complying with the intervention requirements.