Booster breaks in the workplace: Participants’ perspectives on health-promoting work breaks
Taylor, W. C. Shegog, R. Paxton, R. J. Evans-Hudnall, G. L. David Rempel, MD, MPH Chen, V. Yancey, A.
Health Education Research, 2013 Jun;28(3):414-25. doi: 10.1093/her/cyt001
Increasing sedentary work has been associated with greater cardiovascular and metabolic risk, as well as premature mortality. Interrupting the sedentary workday with health-promoting workbreaks can counter these negative health effects. To examine the potential sustainability of workbreak programs, we assessed the acceptance of these breaks among participants in a Booster Break program. We analyzed qualitative responses from 35 participants across five worksites where one 15-min physical activity break was taken each workday. Two worksites completed a 1-year intervention and three worksites completed a 6-month intervention. Responses to two open-ended questions about the acceptanceand feasibility of Booster Breaks were obtained from a survey administered after the intervention. Three themes for benefits and two themes for barriers were identified. The benefit themes were (i) reduced stress and promoted enjoyment, (ii) increased health awareness and facilitated behavior change, and (iii) enhanced workplace social interaction. The barrier themes were the need for (iv) greater variety in Booster Break routines and (v) greater management support. This study provides empirical support for the acceptance and feasibility of Booster Breaks during the workday. Emphasizing the benefits and minimizing the barriers are strategies that can be used to implement Booster Breaks in other workplaces.