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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31827f37d7
Original Articles

Relationship Between Physical Inactivity and Health Characteristics Among Participants in an Employee-Wellness Program

Birdee, Gurjeet S. MD, MPH; Byrne, Daniel W. MS; McGown, Paula W. MSN, MAcc, RN, FNP-BC, CPA; Rothman, Russell L. MD, MPP; Rolando, Lori A. MD, MPH; Holmes, Marilyn C. MS, RD, LDN; Yarbrough, Mary I. MD, MPH

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Objective: To characterize factors associated with physical inactivity among employees with access to workplace wellness program.

Methods: We examined data on physical inactivity, defined as exercise less than once a week, from the 2010 health risk assessment completed by employees at a major academic institution (N = 16,976).

Results: Among employees, 18% of individuals reported physical activity less than once a week. Individuals who were physically inactive as compared with physically active reported higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.36 [1.23 to 1.51]), fair or poor health status (AOR, 3.52 [2.97 to 4.17]), and absenteeism from work (AOR, 1.59 [1.41 to 1.79]). Overall, physically inactive employees as compared with physically active employees reported more interest in health education programs.

Conclusion: Future research is needed to address barriers to physical inactivity to improve employee wellness and potentially lower health utility costs.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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