Objective: To explore cardiovascular fitness in 40 occupations using a nationally representative sample of the US population.
Methods: Respondents aged 18 to 49 years (N = 3354) from the 1999 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were evaluated for cardiovascular fitness and classified into low, moderate, and high levels. Comparisons were made among occupations.
Results: Of all the US workers, 16% had low, 36% moderate, and 48% high cardiovascular fitness. Administrators, health occupations, wait staff, personal services, and agricultural occupations had a lesser percentage of workers with low cardiovascular fitness compared with all others. Sales workers, administrative support, and food preparers had a higher percentage of workers with low cardiovascular fitness compared with all others.
Conclusions: Cardiovascular fitness varies significantly across occupations, and those with limited physical activity have higher percentages of low cardiovascular fitness. Workplace strategies are needed to promote cardiovascular fitness among high-risk occupations.