The researchers recruited Dutch airline workers who recently had missed work for several weeks because of nonspecific low back pain. They randomly assigned the workers to receive either a graded activity program or usual care. Physical therapists supervised graded activity in 1-hour sessions twice per week. Graded activity included exercises that imitated tasks at work that were difficult and painful (for example, lifting suitcases). Therapists emphasized that it was safe to move and be physically active despite pain. Therapists and workers negotiated graded quotas for increasing amounts of exercise, and workers proposed their own dates for returning to work. Feedback graphs regularly showed workers their progress in meeting exercise quotas. Occupational physicians delivered usual care, which included advice about the work environment (ergonomics), ways to prevent injuries, and return-to-work schedules. All workers reported their pain and ability to function at 3 and 6 months. Researchers reviewed company records at 6 months to assess numbers of days that workers worked.