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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 518561, 12 pages
Research Article

When Intervention Meets Organisation, a Qualitative Study of Motivation and Barriers to Physical Exercise at the Workplace

1Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M, Denmark
2National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Lersø Parkallé 105, 2100 København Ø, Denmark

Received 4 June 2014; Revised 5 September 2014; Accepted 25 September 2014

Academic Editor: Roger Persson

Copyright © 2015 Thomas Viskum Gjelstrup Bredahl et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To provide a comprehensive understanding of the motivational factors and barriers that are important for compliance with high-intensity workplace physical exercise that is aimed at reducing musculoskeletal disorders. Method. The present study, which used semideductive, thematic, and structured in-depth interviews, was nested in a 20-week cluster randomised controlled trial among office workers. Interviews were conducted with 18 informants with diverse fields of sedentary office work who participated in strength training at the workplace for 20 minutes, three times per week. Organisational, implementational, and individual motives and barriers were explored. Results & Discussion. The results show that attention should be given to the interaction between the management, the employees, and the intervention, as the main barrier to compliance was the internal working culture. The results emphasised the need for a clear connection between the management’s implementational intentions and the actual implementation. The results emphasise the importance of ensuring the legitimacy of the intervention among managers, participants, and colleagues. Moreover, it is important to centrally organise, structure, and ensure flexibility in the working day to free time for participants to attend the intervention. Recommendations from this study suggest that a thorough intervention mapping process should be performed to analyse organisational and implementational factors before initiating workplace physical exercise training.