Increasing exercise among blue-collar employees: the tailoring of worksite programs to meet specific needs

Prev Med. 1988 May;17(3):357-65. doi: 10.1016/0091-7435(88)90010-2.


Despite increasing interest in worksite exercise programs, little attention has been focused on the blue-collar segment of the workforce. Because of their low participation in traditional exercise classes and programs, blue-collar workers at a university were targeted for an exercise program tailored specifically to their preferences and needs. Thirty-eight sedentary males employed in operations and maintenance shops on the university campus were evaluated with regard to their current exercise behavior, other health habits, and their preferred types of physical activity programs. A pre- and postprogram submaximal exercise test, weight, and blood pressure measurements were also completed on-site. Twenty-two men (23% of the total blue-collar population) subsequently participated in a 16-week exercise program using an on-site parcourse, and incorporating such motivational strategies as public monitoring, intershop competition, and activity-based incentives. Participation rates were substantially higher than those recorded for previous worksite exercise classes. Participants showed increases in fitness levels (P less than 0.0001) and decreases in weight (P less than 0.05) compared with nonparticipants. Suggestions concerning recruitment of such individuals into low-cost exercise programs and subsequent participation maintenance are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Employment*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Pilot Projects