n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Effects of life event stress, exercise workload, hardiness and coping style on susceptibility to the common cold : health promotion, fitness and wellness - : health promotion, fitness and wellness

Volume 12, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


A cross-sectional research design was used to investigate the effects of life event stress, exercise workload, hardiness and coping style on susceptibility to the common cold in a convenience sample of 124 South African distance runners (86 males; 38 females). Participants' ages ranged from 19 to 65 years old (mean age: 41, 7; SD: 10, 36) and they were predominantly English speakers (69, 9%), married (62%) and in full-time employment (81%). Correlation analyses revealed a significant positive association between life event stress and self-reported upper respiratory tract symptom occurrences. A significant correlation was also observed between personality hardiness and the dependent measures, with higher levels of hardiness related to lower symptom scores. However, no significant associations were observed between symptoms and average weekly training load or the number of races run during the previous six months. The relationships between the susceptibility measures and composite indices of approach and avoidance coping, respectively, were also not significant. The results of hierarchical regression analyses suggested that most of the variance in symptoms can be explained by life event stress with the other variables (exercise workload, hardiness and coping style) and their interactions with stress not making a significant contribution. Consistent with previous research, the findings of this study suggest that life event stress is related to an increased susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infection. There is also some evidence that higher levels of hardiness may be protective against the common cold. Moreover, exercise workload, hardiness and coping style do not appear to moderate the adverse impact of stress on infectious illness.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error