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Physical activity promotion for male factory workers : a realistic option?

Veitch, Jenny, Owen, Neville, Burns, Jane and Sallis, James F. 1997, Physical activity promotion for male factory workers : a realistic option?, Health promotion journal of Australia, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 169-174.

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Title Physical activity promotion for male factory workers : a realistic option?
Author(s) Veitch, JennyORCID iD for Veitch, Jenny
Owen, Neville
Burns, Jane
Sallis, James F.
Journal name Health promotion journal of Australia
Volume number 7
Issue number 3
Start page 169
End page 174
Total pages 6
Publisher Australian Health Promotion Association
Place of publication Camperdown, N. S. W.
Publication date 1997-12
ISSN 1036-1073
Keyword(s) physical activity
blue-collar workers
cardiovascular disease
Summary Issue addressed: Worksites are a promising setting for health promotion initiatives. While there is an accumulated body of evidence indicating favourable health and cost outcomes, there have been difficulties identified in recruiting and influencing blue- collar workers. This descriptive study aimed to identify specific opportunities and barriers which may impact upon physical activity options at work for male blue-collar factory workers.

Methods: Fifteen manager interviews and worksite observations, and eight employee group discussions were conducted in manufacturing industry worksites.

Results: Several key barriers emerged which limit opportunities for blue-collar employees to participate in physical activity at work: time constraints; limited facilities; and lack of interest from management to facilitate physical activity due to limited resources and concerns about safety issues. Potential opportunities included the presence of change rooms, showers, outdoor areas suitable for physical activity, nearby parks and local fitness facilities, and occupational health and safety committees.

Conclusions: Increasing opportunities for workers to be active at work did not emerge as a priority of managers who may need to be convinced that allocating time and resources to physical activity is a wise investment and that workers need an environment that both supports and encourages participation in physical activity. The role of physical activity in relation to injury prevention and potential reductions in Workcover premiums is worthy of further investigation.

So what? While worksite physical activity promotion is a national health objective, there are numerous actual and perceived barriers to initiatives directed at factory workers. Rather than offering specific programs, it may be more productive to address work practices and environmental and regulatory barriers through established occupational health and safety channels. Information and education strategies to change the attitudes and beliefs of management and workers about these issues, as well as about the health benefits of physical activity, may also be helpful.
Language eng
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
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