Environmental and Occupational Health Practice
Online ISSN : 2434-4931
Original Articles
Workers’ perceptions of mHealth services for physical activity and mental health: A qualitative study using a text-mining method
Kazuhiro Watanabe Akizumi Tsutsumi
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2023 Volume 5 Issue 1 Article ID: 2022-0022-OA


Objectives: This study explored the perceptions of workers regarding mobile health (mHealth) services for physical activity and mental health. Methods: Single, online, one-on-one, 60-minute semi-structured interviews were conducted with workers living or working in Tokyo, Japan. The transcribed text corpus of the interviews was used as data to explore their perceptions. The top 200 nouns in the utterances were extracted and modeled using a bag of words (BoW) and embedded into a two-dimensional space. Results: The interviews extracted 476 utterances with 1,294 nouns from the 12 workers (7 males and 5 females). A total of 10 themes were estimated from the top 200 nouns. The participants mostly agreed that physical activity was effective in improving their mental health. They needed individualized, attractive, and easy mHealth services. Other estimated themes were: limited effects of non-leisure physical activity on mental health, lower priority on physical activity rather than sleep and rest, reluctance to share the data within the groups, and difficulties in wearing the devices to measure physical activity due to work rules. Conclusion: Workers’ perceptions of mHealth services were consistent with previous findings: the need for individualization, attraction, and ease of use. In the working population, mHealth services for physical activity and mental health should consider working conditions and focus on leisure-time physical activity. Social sharing might not be a mandatory technique because of the private topics and variety of associations between physical activity and mental health.

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