Physical activity promotion in business and industry: evidence, context, and recommendations for a national plan

J Phys Act Health. 2009 Nov:6 Suppl 2:S220-35.


Background: The contemporary workplace setting is in need of interventions that effectively promote higher levels of occupational and habitual physical activity. It is the purpose of this paper to outline an evidence-based approach to promote physical activity in the business and industry sector in support of a National Physical Activity Plan.

Methods: Comprehensive literature searches identified systematic reviews, comprehensive reviews, and consensus documents on the impact of physical activity interventions in the business and industry sector. A framework for action and priority recommendations for practice and research were generated.

Key recommendations: Comprehensive, multicomponent work-site programs that include physical activity components generate significant improvements in health, reduce absenteeism and sick leave, and can generate a positive financial return. Specific evidence-based physical activity interventions are presented. Recommendations for practice include implementing comprehensive, multicomponent programs that make physical activity interventions possible, simple, rewarding and relevant in the context of a social-ecological model. The business and industry sector has significant opportunities to improve physical activity among employees, their dependents, and the community at-large and to reap important benefits related to worker health and business performance.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Plan Implementation / methods
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity*
  • Occupational Health Services / methods*
  • Program Evaluation / methods
  • Review Literature as Topic