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Am J Prev Med. 2011 Aug;41(2):136-45. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2011.03.019.

Employment and physical activity in the U.S.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Physical inactivity is a risk factor for obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and other chronic diseases that are increasingly prevalent in the U.S. and worldwide. Time at work represents a major portion of the day for employed people.

PURPOSE:

To determine how employment status (full-time, part-time, or not employed) and job type (active or sedentary) are related to daily physical activity levels in American adults.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) were collected in 2003-2004 and analyzed in 2010. Physical activity was measured using Actigraph uniaxial accelerometers, and participants aged 20-60 years with ≥4 days of monitoring were included (N=1826). Accelerometer variables included mean counts/minute during wear time and proportion of wear time spent in various intensity levels.

RESULTS:

In men, full-time workers were more active than healthy nonworkers (p=0.004), and in weekday-only analyses, even workers with sedentary jobs were more active (p=0.03) and spent less time sedentary (p<0.001) than nonworkers. In contrast with men, women with full-time sedentary jobs spent more time sedentary (p=0.008) and had less light and lifestyle intensity activity than healthy nonworkers on weekdays. Within full-time workers, those with active jobs had greater weekday activity than those with sedentary jobs (22% greater in men, 30% greater in women).

CONCLUSIONS:

In men, full-time employment, even in sedentary occupations, is positively associated with physical activity compared to not working, and in both genders job type has a major bearing on daily activity levels.

PMID:
21767720
PMCID:
PMC5221416
DOI:
10.1016/j.amepre.2011.03.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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