Aim: To investigate the long-term effectiveness of stretching exercises on the health outcomes of Korean-Chinese female migrant workers. Methods: This study was a randomized prospective trial. The study's participants (n = 80) were middle-aged, Korean-Chinese women who had worked full-time during the previous 6 months. They were assigned randomly to an enhanced stretching intervention group or a standard stretching intervention group. Both groups were instructed to carry out a structured 6 min stretching exercise program for at least three times per day and 5 days per week. The enhanced intervention group received additional interventions to increase exercise adherence through individual phone counseling and short message service during the 12 weeks, followed by three sets of acculturation workshops during the period of weeks 13–24. Musculoskeletal fitness, symptoms, and acculturative stress were assessed at baseline, week 12, and week 24. Linear mixed-models were used to test the interventions' effects. Results: The amount of stretching that was carried out, as a percentage of the recommended amount, was not significantly different between groups. There were significant improvements in flexibility of the back and work-related musculoskeletal disorder symptoms after completing the 24 week intervention but no significant difference existed between the groups. Acculturative stress decreased at week 12 but there was no significant change at week 24. Conclusions: The 24 week, community-based stretching program for the Korean-Chinese female migrant workers was effective in increasing their flexibility and decreasing work-related musculoskeletal disorder symptoms. Culturally adaptive augmented interventions to increase social support are suggested in order to reduce acculturative stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Research and Theory