Occupational balance as a component in weight loss interventions

C. Jessen-Winge*, M. Kolind, K. Lee, M. B. Leth, S. Surrow, D. S. Knürr, C. S. Christensen, J. R. Christensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Background: Obesity can limit occupational participation because of physical and mental barriers. Weight loss programmes emphasizing dietary and physical activity may lower body weight; however, mental barriers and sustainable weight loss seemed to be challenged. Weight loss influences daily patterns and structure of occupations and finding a balance in daily life during the weight loss process might improve sustainable weight loss. Aim: To explore if and how health professionals conducting weight loss programmes in Danish municipalities address elements related to occupational balance in the daily life of citizens with obesity. Material and methods: Twenty individual interviews with health professionals from Danish municipalities were conducted and analysed. Results: (1) Helping participants find the time and energy to lose weight, (2) Emphasizing small steps for sustainable changes and (3) Utilizing the citizen’s life experience for direction. Conclusion: Elements of occupational balance might be addressed by the participants, however values and meaningfulness regarding occupations seem to be missing. Integrating occupational balance in weight loss programmes could enable health professionals to understand and address sustainable weight loss. Significance: Occupational therapists may be ideally suited to support citizens with obesity to sustain weight loss by supporting a balanced life focussing on meaningfulness and values in occupations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1028-1036
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Daily life
  • obesity
  • occupational therapy
  • overweight
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Exercise
  • Weight Loss
  • Humans
  • Obesity/therapy


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