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J Sci Med Sport. 2005 Jun;8(2):143-51.

Objectively-measured physical activity in New Zealand workers.

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Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.


To date, no objective measurements of New Zealanders' physical activity have been reported. The relative contribution of work time activity to total daily physical activity by gender and occupational category has also not been measured objectively in any population. The present study reports such data using pedometer steps counts to quantify both work and non-work physical activity in a sample of New Zealand adult workers in six different occupational categories over a three-day period. Females (9943+/-3855 steps) had slightly higher, but not significantly different (F=0.084(1,179)1, p=0.772) daily step counts than males (9766+/-3965 steps). Using the 10 000 steps a day criterion, 57% of the sample were considered at least low-active. Analysis of variance was used to identify between group (occupational) differences in workplace physical activity (F=11.189(5,175), p<0.001), non-work physical activity (F=2.596(5.175), p=0.027), and total physical activity (F=6.265(5,175), p<0.001). Tukey post hoc comparisons showed significant differences with retail and blue collar workers achieving higher activity levels in comparison to the other occupational categories in work and total physical activity. Odds ratios were calculated to find the odds of being in the top half of activity classification for work and non-work physical activity by tertile splits of work time, active transportation use, sport and exercise participation, television and computer viewing, and passive recreation. Active transportation and passive recreation were related to increased odds of higher work pedometer steps. For non-work pedometer values, television and computer use increased the likelihood of being in the lowest activity group, while sport and exercise participation were associated with increased activity levels.

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