The concept of wellness has transformed over the decades with the ever-adapting
lifestyle of society and thus can be broadly defined as the responsibility of the
individual through practicing health-promoting lifestyle behaviour. There are various
factors that contribute to an individual's sense of overall physical wellbeing which can
be categorised into skill-related and health-related components which have been
extensively investigated. However, there is a considerable lack of evidence
regarding the integration of these components. This study thus sought to determine
a means of integrating the various components of physical wellness to provide an
indication of wellness state.
This was approached from two avenues: the first (Study 1) explored a component of
wellness to ascertain whether it can be used as a measure in determining overall
physical wellness and the second (Study 2) assessed the influence of physical
activity on various wellness parameters and utilised these wellness parameters in
the derivation of an overall physical wellness indicator to determine an individual's
state of overall wellbeing.
Study 1 involved comparing Sports vision between sedentary and active work
environments in a sample of 158 university students and 230 training recruits. The
participants were subjected to various visual skill assessments to determine if an
active environment transfers to visual proficiency. The results indicate that while the
recruits were more proficient in some skills, students displayed a greater aptitude in
other areas. The findings obtained in this study are in concert with previous
research, indicating that individuals exposed to physical activity, even for a short
period of time, tend to acquire superior visual skills. However, the skills are honed
according to the field of expertise due to the transfer effect that occurs in the brain.
Comparing physical wellness in sedentary and active work environments
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The concept of Sports vision that was explored in this study provided insight into its
role in wellness and it was suggested that these assessments can be utilised in
assessing overall physical wellness.
Study 2 delved into the area of overall physical wellness and explored the
components and influence of an active work environment on these components. 165
undergraduate university students and 234 training recruits and law enforcement
employees underwent several wellness assessments in a bid to compare overall
physical wellness in sedentary and active work environments. The individual results
were compared, and scored into risk areas that were ultimately compounded to
formulate an overall physical wellness indicator. It was found that the students were
superior in some areas of wellness; however the recruits possessed a greater state
of overall physical wellness. This indicates that physical activity does contribute
significantly to attaining a state of overall physical wellness and thus reduces the risk
of developing lifestyle-related chronic conditions.
The overall findings suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle through physical
activity and health-promoting behaviour will result in a greater state of wellness. This
area of research has unfolded a host of possibilities for future research, especially
into the overall wellness indicator and the integration of the health and skill-related
components of overall physical wellness.