Enrollment Strategies, Barriers to Participation, and Reach of a Workplace Intervention Targeting Sedentary Behavior

Sarah L. Mullane, Sarah A. Rydell, Miranda L. Larouche, Meynard John L. Toledo, Linda H. Feltes, Brenna Vuong, Noe C. Crespo, Glenn A. Gaesser, Paul A. Estabrooks, Mark A. Pereira, Matthew P. Buman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To review enrollment strategies, participation barriers, and program reach of a large, 2-year workplace intervention targeting sedentary behavior. Approach: Cross-sectional, retrospective review. Setting: Twenty-four worksites balanced across academic, industry, and government sectors in Minneapolis/Saint Paul (Minnesota) and Phoenix (Arizona) regions. Participants: Full-time (≥30+ h/wk), sedentary office workers. Methods: Reach was calculated as the proportion of eligible employees who enrolled in the intervention ([N enrolled/(proportion of eligible employees × N total employees)] × 100). Mean (1 standard deviation) and median worksite sizes were calculated at each enrollment step. Participation barriers and modifications were recorded by the research team. A survey was sent to a subset of nonparticipants (N = 57), and thematic analyses were conducted to examine reasons for nonparticipation, positive impacts, and negative experiences. Results: Employer reach was 65% (56 worksites invited to participate; 66% eligible of 56 responses; 24 enrolled). Employee reach was 58% (1317 invited to participate, 83% eligible of 906 responses; 632 enrolled). Postrandomization, on average, 59% (15%) of the worksites participated. Eighteen modifications were developed to overcome participant-, context-, and research-related participation barriers. Conclusion: A high proportion of worksites and employees approached to participate in a sedentary behavior reduction intervention engaged in the study. Interventions that provide flexible enrollment, graded participant engagement options, and adopt a participant-centered approach may facilitate workplace intervention success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019


  • employee engagement
  • participation barriers
  • reach
  • sedentary behavior
  • workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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