Identifying Exercise Barriers for Nurses Working in Sedentary Work Roles
Patton, Carol M.
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More and more nurses and nurse educators are working in sedentary work roles that require them to be sedentary for long periods of time. Typically nurses working in sedentary roles know intellectually they need to engage in physical activity to stay healthy; however, there are many barriers and challenges preventing nurses working in sedentary roles to engage in adequate physical activity. Contemporary literature indicates there are numerous physiological impacts on the health status and outcomes for nurses completing fewer than 5000 steps per day. Nurses completing fewer than 5000 steps per day are considered to have a sedentary work role. Nurses completing fewer than 5000 steps per day are at increased risk of developing chronic disease. Nurses working in sedentary work roles are at increased risk of mortality and morbidity from elevated body mass index (BMI). For example, nurses with an elevated BMI are more likely to experience poor health status and chronic disease resulting in higher rates of work absence, earlier exit from the nursing workforce, or retire early from the nursing workforce. Obesity is a compelling health issue for nurses and is linked to inactivity and sedentary occupational roles. Fewer than 50% of American adults currently meet the National Guidelines for Physical Activity when compared to the National Clinical Guidelines for Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. For example, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion indicates all adults should engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity weekly or have 75 minutes of vigorous-intensive physical activity weekly. Following the recommended guidelines of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans decreases risk of chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers. The Exercise Benefits-Barriers Scale (EBBS) is a valid and reliable measurement tool that helps identify cognitive and perceptual factors and barriers of persons with regard to exercise and physical activity. The EBBS provides participant responses and insight into one's ideas about exercise. The EBBS is a valid and reliable for use in adults age 18 and older. The purpose of this evidence-based intervention is to administer the EBBS to nurses working in sedentary work roles to identify barriers and challenges for these nurses with regard to daily exercise and physical activity. Based on the data and outcomes from the EBBS, an at-work exercise program will be designed for nurses working in sedentary roles to improve their health status and reduce risk of chronic disease.