Citation Ryde GC, Atkinson P, Stead M, Gorely T & Evans J (2020) Physical activity in paid work time for desk-based employees: a qualitative study of employers' and employees' perspectives. BMC Public Health, 20 (1), Art. No.: 460. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-020-08580-1
Abstract Background: Poor physical and mental health of employees create significant problems in the workplace. Physical activity (PA) has been shown as an effective strategy for preventing and treating numerous physical and mental health issues as well as work performance outcomes. However, there are many barriers to taking part in PA (such as lack of time) with participation rates typically low. Providing PA in paid work time might be a way to overcome these issues, yet employers' and employees' opinions of this concept are unknown. The aim of this study was to explore employee and employer perspectives of PA in paid work time. Methods: Workplaces were recruited through existing contacts on the research team. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with employees and managers at one University and two executive non-departmental public bodies in central Scotland with mainly desk-based employees. Both managers and employees were involved to gain perspectives throughout the organisational hierarchy and were interviewed separately to reduce social desirability bias. All discussions were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analysed thematically for both managers and employees but due to significant overlap in themes between the groups, these are reported together in the results.
Keywords Qualitative; Workplace; Physical activity; Paid work time