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Predrag Ilić1, Borko Katanic1, Miljan Hadzovic1, Rada Rakočević2, Dusko Bjelica3, Amel Mekic4

1University of Nis, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Nis, Serbia
2The Independent University, Pedagogical Faculty, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
3University of Montenegro, Faculty for Sports and Physical Education, Niksic, Montenegro
4University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Barriers to Physical Activity (PA) in the Working Population: A Review

Sport Mont 2024, 22(1), 129-136 | DOI: 10.26773/smj.240218


Regular physical activity (PA) plays a crucial role in promoting overall health and preventing non-communicable diseases, with exercise both during and outside working hours reducing accumulated fatigue and stress caused by various job tasks. However, despite this, many people do not engage in sufficient levels of PA for various reasons. In line with this, this comprehensive research aimed to identify the barriers to physical exercise among the working population (WP). A search of literature was conducted using the following databases: Google Scholar, PubMed, Medline, and Mendeley, covering the period from 2002 to 2022. To potentially include in the study, all titles and abstracts were reviewed. A search of the databases based on keywords yielded 420 studies, then, through analysis and in accordance with the study’s objectives, 50 studies were included for analysis. Through a detailed analysis of selected studies, various barriers to PA in the WP have been identified. All barriers can be divided into three main groups: i) Work schedule and workplace as barriers; ii) Marital and extramarital relationships, parenthood, family, and household obligations as barriers; iii) Time, behavioral, socio-economic, demographic, and ecological factors as barriers. The detected barriers suggest that interventions to overcome them should not be directed toward a single solution, given their diversity. In the context of the contemporary lifestyle where economic activities almost dominantly prevail, maintaining the health and adequate work level of employees is of utmost importance, further emphasizing the significance of PA and the identification of barriers of various kinds. Therefore, this research is of great value, as by determining the state and identifying different barriers to PA, it can serve as an initial step in devising various measures and solutions to eliminate these barriers and enable the WP to engage in physical activities for the improvement of their health and work potential.


barriers to physical exercise, perceived barriers and physical activity, employees, workplace, leisure-time physical activity

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