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  • Project manager: Teresa Holmberg

The proportion of persons below 30 years that stand outside the labor market is high, and there is increasing political focus on preventing the growing unemployment rate. The Danish Municipalities demands knowledge on what activation initiatives that succeeds in getting the young adults in job or to start op an education.

A survey from 2016 showed that a high number of Danish municipalities have implemented initiatives that includes a physical activity component in their activation effort. However, the initiatives differ in form, content, organization and target group. Overall the municipalities report that incentives that includes physical activity have a positive outcome, though, there is a lack of systematic effect evaluations. This is also the conclusion when reviewing the international literature.


The aim of NEXT STEP is to develop a sustainable intervention that includes physical activity, social activities, and workshops to help young adults below 30 years that stands outside the labor marked closer to job or education and improving their physical and mental health.


NEXT STEP is a randomized controlled trial. The participating job centers are randomized to an intervention or control group. The participants in the control group will, in addition to the normal activation effort in their municipality of residence, be offered to take part in a four month long physical activity programme. They will be divided into groups of maximum 10 persons with an affiliated instructor and one or two volunteers. The group will meet twice a week five-six hours a day and take part in physical activity, workshops and social activities. Participants in the control group will receive the normal activation effort in their municipality of residence.


NEXT STEP will be implemented in 2018–2020.

Collaboration and funding

Funding: Helsefonden, Læge Sofus Emil og Hustru Olga Doris Friis’ Legat, Østifterne.
Collaborator: Dansk Folkehjælp.

Last Updated 19.10.2023