The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a weekly exercise programme among nursing staff on organizational/psychosocial and physical work conditions, and psychosomatic symptoms. Out of 106 nurses and nursing aides from four geriatric wards who were invited to participate in a cross-over study, 86 accepted. For the exercise periods the staff were invited to participate in an exercise programme twice a week for 8 weeks during work time. Fifty subjects participated > or = 8 times regularly during the exercise periods (participants). During the control periods, 78 subjects attended without intervention. The effect was followed-up with questionnaires before and after the intervention periods. The exercise programme did not affect perceived organizational/psychosocial or physical work conditions, with one exception. A higher change for the worse was seen in the factor "work planning" during the exercise periods compared with during the control periods. The result suggests that the organization of the training is important in order not to add extra stress.