Exploring the dynamics of a free fruit at work intervention

Amelia Lake, Sarah A. Smith, Charlotte E. Bryant, Sevil Alinia, Kirsten Brandt, Chris J. Seal, Inge Tetens

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    1 Citation (Scopus)
    125 Downloads (Pure)


    Background: The workplace has been identified as an ideal setting for health interventions. However, few UK-based workplace intervention studies have been published. Fewer still focus on the practicalities and implications when running an intervention within the workplace setting. The objective of this paper was to qualitatively determine the perceived behaviour changes of participants in a free fruit at work intervention. Understanding the dynamics of a workplace intervention and establishing any limitations of conducting an intervention in a workplace setting were also explored. Methods: Twenty-three face-to-face interviews were conducted with individuals receiving free fruit at work for 18 weeks (74 % female). The worksite was the offices of a regional local government in the North East of England. Analysis was guided theoretically by Grounded Theory research and the data were subjected to content analysis. The transcripts were read repeatedly and cross-compared to develop a coding framework and derive dominant themes. Results: Topics explored included: the workplace food environment; the effect of the intervention on participants and on other related health behaviours; the effect of the intervention on others; participant's fruit consumption; reasons for not taking part in the intervention; expectations and sustainability post-intervention; and how to make the workplace healthier. Five emergent themes included: the office relationship with food; desk based eating; males and peer support; guilt around consumption of unhealthy foods; and the type of workplace influencing the acceptability of future interventions. Conclusion: Exploring the perceptions of participants offered valued insights into the dynamics of a free fruit workplace intervention. Findings suggest that access and availability are both barriers and facilitators to encouraging healthy eating in the workplace.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number839
    JournalBMC Public Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2016


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