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J Sci Med Sport. 2003 Dec;6(4):398-407.

Occupational physical activity across occupational categories.

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Central Queensland University, Faculty of Arts, Health and Sciences, School of Health and Human Performance, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.


This study investigated the amount of physical activity that occurs during normal working hours, highlighting the occupational differences in physical activity by occupational category. Data were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire (Tecumseh Occupational Physical Activity Questionnaire [TOQ]), which measures past year Occupational Physical Activity (OPA) and by a motion-sensing device (Yamax DigiWalker Pedometer SW - 700). Ninety male and female participants aged 18-62 years participated in the study. Participants were stratified by occupational category according to the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO), which was then condensed into professional, white-collar and blue-collar workers. The results showed significant (p < .05) increases in OPA from the professional category (least active) through to the blue-collar workers (most active) in terms of walking activity. Mean daily step counts were 2,835, 3,616 and 8,757 for professional, white-collar and blue-collar respectively. Occupational Physical Activity Scores and Work Activity Units (WAU) in MET - min x wk(-1) from the TOQ showed similar patterns, with blue collar reporting significantly (p < .05) more past year OPA than their white-collar and professional workers. Significant correlations were also shown between the pedometer (step-count data) and the TOQ (r = .38 - .74, p < .01).

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