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J Phys Act Health. 2012 Jan;9(1):39-47.

Farming activities and carrying and lifting: the Agricultural Health Study.

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1
Dept of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, NC, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Heavy carrying and lifting (HCL) is a common activity among farmers that may be related to health. The aim of this study was to examine HCL as a proxy for occupational physical activity (PA) among farm residents. The secondary objective was to evaluate PA based on HCL.

METHODS:

Data from 21,296 farmers and 30,951 spouses in the Agricultural Health Study examined the relationship between HCL and farm activities and individual/farm characteristics. HCL was categorized as ≥ 1 or < 1 hours per day. The association between HCL and farm activities (15 for farmers; 16 for spouses) and individual/farm characteristics was examined using adjusted logistic regression. To evaluate PA, we created a PA activity index using metabolic equivalents for HCL, and compared PA weekly averages with national guidelines.

RESULTS:

In adjusted results, most farm activities were significantly associated with HCL. Based on HCL, farmers had a median of 1.5 hours and spouses 0.5 hours of vigorous or muscle-strengthening PA per day. Most farmers (94%) and about 60% of spouses meet or exceed 2008 national guidelines for vigorous or muscle-strengthening PA.

CONCLUSION:

Findings suggest the HCL measure may be useful as a PA metric in future studies of occupational PA among farm residents.

PMID:
22232503
PMCID:
PMC3257835
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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