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Physical activity initiatives for male factory workers : gatekeepers' perceptions of potential motivators and barriers

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journal contribution
posted on 1999-10-01, 00:00 authored by Jenny VeitchJenny Veitch, O Clavisi, N Owen
Objective: Worksites have been argued to be a key setting for physical activity promotion, particularly for lower-paid, less-skilled workers. These occupational groups are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There is no strong evidence in support of the efficacy of worksite fitness and physical activity interventions. This study assessed potential motivators and barriers to worksite physical activity initiatives for less-skilled workers.

Method: We conducted telephone interviews with 13 Victorian WorkCover insurance providers and 30 manufacturing industry worksite managers. The manufacturing industry was selected as it contains a substantial portion of workers from this high-risk occupational group.

Results: Most insurers incorporated physical activity elements into injury-prevention programs. Few worksite managers reported programs to encourage workers to be more active; they identified reduced premiums and lower-cost programs through insurers as possible motivators. Both groups identified workers' reluctance to participate in physical activity, lack of awareness of potential benefits and program cost as major barriers for worksite physical activity. Other barriers included potential adverse effects on productivity and increased injury risk.

Conclusions: Broader occupational health and safety policies and joint initiatives between insurers and worksite managers may have the potential to provide more opportunities for workers to be more active. However, the barriers identified outweighed the perceived benefits.

Implications: Without structural and regulatory changes or new incentives, the adoption of physical activity initiatives in Australian manufacturing-industry workplaces is unlikely.



Australian and New Zealand journal of public health






505 - 510


Wiley - Blackwell Publishing Asia


Richmond, Vic.







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal