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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Physical activity in paid work time for desk-based employees: a qualitative study of employers' and employees' perspectives
Author(s): Ryde, Gemma C
Atkinson, Patricia
Stead, Martine
Gorely, Trish
Evans, Josie
Keywords: Qualitative
Physical activity
Paid work time
Issue Date: 2020
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.
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.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12889-020-08580-1
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
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