Interpersonal synchrony increases social cohesion, reduces work-related stress and prevents sickdays: a longitudinal field experiment

  • Anja S. GöritzEmail author
  • Miriam Rennung
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This longitudinal field experiment examines synchrony to facilitate collaboration in organizations.


Specifically, we tested if (1) the cohesion-enhancing effect of synchronous movement replicates in an organizational setting and (2) synchronous movement reduces stress on the level of the individual.

Materials and Methods

Employees of a publishing company who underwent a physical exercise intervention that involved synchronous movement for 9 weeks were compared with a treated (asynchronous movement) and a nontreated control group (no movement). Data were obtained at three measurement points.


Synchronous movement enhanced social closeness, reduced work-related stress and diminished sickdays immediately following the intervention. The longer-term effects were either smaller than the short-term effects or not discernible at all.


As the synchrony intervention was short, simple, and well accepted among employees, it is a potentially useful component of workplace health or team development initiatives.


Interpersonal synchrony Stress Social cohesion Sickdays Field experiment 

Interpersonelle Synchronität fördert den Zusammenhalt und vermindert Stress und Krankentage: ein längsschnittliches Feldexperiment



Dieses längsschnittliche Feldexperiment untersuchte interpersonelle Synchronität in Gruppen.


Dabei untersuchten wir, ob (1) die im Labor gezeigte zusammenhaltstiftende Wirkung synchroner Bewegung in einem organisationalen Kontext replizierbar ist und (2) synchrone Bewegung das Stresserleben von Arbeitnehmern vermindert.


Angestellte eines Verlages durchliefen ein neunwöchiges Bewegungsprogramm, welches synchrone Bewegungen beinhaltete. Diese behandelte Experimentalgruppe wurde verglichen mit einer behandelten Kontrollgruppe, die sich asynchron bewegte sowie mit einer unbehandelten Kontrollgruppe, die sich gar nicht bewegte. Es gab drei Messzeitpunkte.


Synchrone Bewegung verstärkte den Zusammenhalt zwischen den Teilnehmenden, verminderte das individuelle Erleben von Stress und reduzierte ihre Krankentage unmittelbar nach Teilnahme am Programm. Längerfristige Wirkungen der synchronen Bewegung waren entweder geringer ausgeprägt oder gar nicht feststellbar.


Aufgrund der Kürze des Bewegungsprogramms, seiner Einfachheit und seiner Begrüßung durch die Belegschaft stellt es potentiell eine nützliche Komponente in Maßnahmen des betrieblichen Gesundheitsmanagements oder der Teamentwicklung dar.


Interpersonelle Synchronität Stress Zusammenhalt Krankentage Feldexperiment 



We thank the publishing company Zypresse, Freiburg, Germany, ( for providing the field environment in which this study was run.


This work was supported by research grant GO 1107/13-1 from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to Göritz.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Consumer PsychologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.WirtschaftspsychologieFreiburgGermany

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