Evaluation of an exercise programme for post-bariatric surgery patients: views of participants


Objective: Exercise programmes typically are evaluated with fitness assessments and psychological survey measures but seldom include participants' insights. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits, facilitators and barriers of a 12‐week exercise programme for post‐bariatric surgery patients from the participants' perspective.

Method: Over a 2‐year period, 20 patients recently having undergone bariatric surgery completed a 12‐week programme that included participation in structured exercise and in focus groups designed to supplement standard evaluation data and provide insight into participants' views.

Results: Participants were highly adherent to the programme, and focus group results reflected a clear positive evaluations. Benefits included helpful information, developing commitment, physical fitness and social support; notably, weight was seldom mentioned. Participants cited structure, accountability and group support as facilitators of exercise. Participants cited few barriers, although very few had set plans for continuing exercise after programme completion.

Conclusion: Participants saw many benefits to the exercise programme, and those benefits reflected lifestyle changes rather than a focus on weight. Programme structure, accountability and the support of the group were facilitators to exercise. Participants cited few barriers. However, the lack of plans for continued exercise suggested the need for a transition phase to help participants continue an active lifestyle after the 12‐week structured programme.



Document Type





behaviour change, motivation, physical activity, self‐efficacy

Publication Date


Journal Title

Obesity science & practice