DOI: 10.2478/pielxxiw-2021-0033 ISSN: 2450-646X

Barriers of physical activity and consequences of inactivity in the population of nurses. A narrative review

Agnieszka Nerek, Katarzyna Wesołowska-Górniak, Bożena Czarkowska-Pączek
  • General Nursing
  • General Nursing


Aim. Nurses are the largest professional group among health care workers. They encounter numerous health problems resulting from the specificity of their professional activity, including musculoskeletal diseases, low quality of sleep, cardiovascular diseases or glucose intolerance, obesity and depressive symptoms. Physical exercise protects against these disorders, but the compliance with the WHO recommendations of physical activity is low among nurses. The main purpose of the review was to identify the most frequently appearing barriers to undertaking physical activity in nurses population.

Material and methods. The literature search of articles published from 1979-2020 in PubMed included the following Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): ‘Nurses’ or ‘Nursing Personnel’ or ‘Nursing Students’ or ‘Health Personnel’ or ‘Healthcare Workers’ or ‘Health Care Professionals’ or ‘Health Care Providers’; Physical Activity’ or ‘Physical Fitness’ or ‘Exercise’ or ‘Exercise Training’ or ‘Acute Exercise’ or ‘Aerobic Exercise’ or ‘Isometric Exercise’; ‘Barriers’ or ‘Benefits’.

Results. The lack of time, tiredness, family responsibilities, inconvenient facilities or schedule, but also stress, physical appearance concerns, the cost of facilities, interpersonal barriers and the lack of support are identified as barriers to exercise. Another barrier is also the lack of knowledge of the proper dose of physical activity.

Conclusions. Promoting physical activity among nurses seems to be necessary.

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