Experiencing Flow in a Workplace Physical Activity Intervention for Female Health Care Workers: A Longitudinal Comparison between Football and Zumba

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 University of Copenhagen
  • 2 Hedmark University of Applied Sciences
  • 3 Technical University of Munich
  • 4 National Research Centre for the Working Environment
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Flow is a rewarding psychological state that motivates individuals to repeat activities. This study explored healthcare workers’ flow experiences during a workplace exercise intervention. Seventy-nine females were assigned to either a 12-week football or Zumba exercise intervention and their flow experiences were assessed at the beginning, midway and at the end of the intervention. The results showed that both intervention groups experienced medium levels of flow and an increase in flow values over time. A significant positive correlation between experiencing flow midway through the intervention and adherence to regular physical activity 18 weeks after the end of the intervention was found. Furthermore, repeated measures throughout the intervention period showed a significantly different development of flow values over time for the adherers and nonadherers. Flow therefore may be of importance for adherence to regular workplace physical activity. Future research needs to investigate the importance of flow in other physical activity settings, especially also for male participants.

Elbe and Krustrup are with the Dept. of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Barene is with the Faculty of Public Health, Hedmark University of Applied Sciences, Elverum, Norway. Strahler is with the Department of Sport and Health Sciences, Technical University, Munich, Germany. Holtermann is with the National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark

Address author correspondence to Anne-Marie Elbe at amelbe@nexs.ku.dk.