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The effect of a stress management programme as a component of an overall fitness programme was evaluated Psychological, physiological and economic parameters were examined in relation to stress management activities in an experimental study Subjects were stratified by life stressors and then randomly assigned to groups Stress-related physical symptoms decreased significantly (P < 0 05) in the treatment group Those who practised the relaxation techniques regularly had significantly lower systolic blood pressure (P < 0 05) Results of cost evaluation demonstrate the benefits from a programme with relatively low overall costs