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Guide to Improving Exercise Adherence in High-Risk Industries

Guide to Improving Exercise Adherence in High-Risk Industries

01 March 2024

Written By: Michael Laverriere, MS, CSCS, New Hampshire National Guard, Strength & Conditioning Coach and Chelsea Kidd, MBA, CSCS, SiteWell Solutions, Owner

Identifying and Overcoming Environmental BarriersHigh-risk industries, such as construction, healthcare, and emergency response, face losing millions of dollars in profits each year due to suboptimal health and fitness levels among their employees. Addressing this challenge, SiteWell Solutions offers crucial insights into how employers can effectively promote exercise adherence within their workforce. Exercise adherence extends beyond occasional workouts; it entails a commitment to a consistent exercise routine to achieve conditioning levels suitable for physically demanding occupations. Understanding the theory is one thing, but the practical implementation makes a real difference. This article explores various barriers to exercise adherence and provides strategies to help employers facilitate a healthier, more committed workforce.


Identifying and Overcoming Environmental Barriers

One of the first hurdles in exercise adherence is the environment itself. Weather conditions like extreme cold or heat can deter even the most dedicated individuals from outdoor activities. Employers can overcome this by providing alternatives that are not weather-dependent. By offering on-site facilities or partnerships with local gyms, companies can ensure that employees have consistent access to exercise options, irrespective of the weather.


SiteWell Solutions supports businesses through onsite fitness center management, and developing partnerships with local fitness facilities to ensure accessibility for our clients’ employees.


Addressing Psychological Barriers

Addressing Psychological BarriersMotivation plays a pivotal role in exercise adherence. It's essential to understand what drives each individual. While some are motivated by external rewards like bonuses or recognition, others find their drive internally through personal satisfaction or achieving mastery. Employers can foster motivation by identifying and tapping into these individual drivers.


When establishing group activities or challenges, SiteWell Solutions emphasizes accessibility for various fitness levels and building a sense of community and accountability through friendly competition. These motivational challenges start as a small accomplishment for participants and often build into lasting habits and work hardening outcomes that support career longevity.


Navigating Economic Barriers

Navigating Economic BarriersCost can be a significant barrier to regular exercise. To address this, forward-thinking employers are taking proactive steps by subsidizing gym memberships, offering on-site exercise facilities, or providing discounts for fitness equipment. This approach not only reduces the financial burden but also shows a commitment to the well-being of their workforce.


Going a step further, companies can add significant value to their wellness programs by providing free health screenings, educational workshops, clinics, and group exercise classes. These resources efficiently promote physical health and foster community and shared goals among employees. Moreover, leading regular work hardening movement programs can be a game-changer. These programs are specifically designed to prevent injury and enhance employees' physical capabilities, giving them a crucial advantage in physically demanding roles. By investing in such initiatives, companies help their workers move and feel their best and create a more resilient and efficient workforce, ultimately contributing to the bottom line.


Strategies for Long-term Adherence

Building confidence and competence is critical. Employers should provide opportunities for employees to engage in activities where they feel skilled and confident. SiteWell Solutions highly recommends providing a range of options with different entry levels to cater to unique interests and abilities.


The habit loop is another powerful tool: cue, routine, reward. Employers can encourage routines that are easy to integrate into daily life. For example, scheduling team workouts during lunch breaks or morning movement prep for injury prevention can create a consistent cue for exercise.


Lastly, goal setting is vital. Goals should be specific, measurable, and relevant to the individual's needs and lifestyle. Employers can facilitate this by offering goal-setting workshops or one-on-one coaching sessions.



At SiteWell Solutions, we understand high-risk industries' unique challenges in promoting exercise adherence. By recognizing and addressing environmental, psychological, and economic barriers, and by implementing effective strategies for long-term adherence, employers can play a pivotal role in fostering a healthier, more productive workforce. By investing in their employees' well-being, companies improve individual lives and enhance their overall operational efficiency and safety.

Stay connected with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube for the latest in employee wellness and injury prevention. Contact us at to discover how we help your workforce move and feel their best.

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