Background: Inactivity and sedentary lifestyle have led experts to recommend an increase in structured, workplace-based physical activity (PA) initiatives. Previous studies on workplace-based PA have only shown moderate and short-term effects. This has been attributed to the lack of clear implementation strategies and understanding of factors that may hinder or enable uptake of PA. To ensure long-term, sustainable outcomes, there is a need for a better understanding of implementation strategies, and barriers and facilitators to workplace-based PA.
Method: A scoping review of studies investigating implementation approaches and factors affecting uptake of workplace-based PA was conducted. Qualitative and quantitative articles published in MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, or PsycINFO between 2008 and 2018 evaluating the implementation of PA were included. Data on study characteristics, evaluation, and implementation methods applied were systematically extracted. Two reviewers extracted, coded, and organised factors affecting uptake using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF).
Results: After dual, blinded screening of titles and abstracts, 16 articles reporting on eight studies were included in the review. Several different methods of implementation were applied, including information meeting, kick-off events, and “change agents” as the most common. A total of 109 factors influencing implementation were identified, consisting of 57 barriers and 52 facilitators. Barriers most often related to the TDF domains Environmental Context and Resources (n = 34, 36.2%), Social influences (n = 13, 13.8%), and Social/Professional Role and Identity (n = 8, 8.5%). Likewise, facilitators most often related to the TDF domains Social influences (n = 17, 19.5%), Environmental Context and Resources (n = 16, 18.4%), and Social/Professional Role and Identity (n = 9, 10.3%).
Conclusion: Our review has highlighted the multilevel factors affecting the uptake of workplace-based PA and underpins the complexities in implementation of such initiatives. The published literature predominantly provides details from the employees’ perspectives on factors that need to be addressed and a lack of attention to these factors will cause them to hamper uptake of PA. The analysis of barriers and facilitators provides a theoretical foundation to guide future intervention design. However, further research is needed to fully understand the success or failure of implementation processes.
Author keywords: Implementation — Physical activity — Workplaces — Theoretical Domains Framework — Barriers — Facilitators — Scoping review
Author affiliations: AG-D, SM, TVGB, MJS: Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; AG-D, MJS: Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics, Odense, Denmark
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