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Occupation, Sitting, and Weight Change in a Cohort of Women Employees

Thompson Warren G. MD; St. Sauver, Jennifer PhD; Schroeder, Darrell MS
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: Post Author Corrections: September 11, 2017
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001155
Original Article: PDF Only


Few studies have looked at occupation and weight gain over time. We examined the influence of occupation on sitting and weight change in employed women.


A total of 228 women working as appointment coordinators or clinical assistants were surveyed regarding sitting and physical activity. Medical records were reviewed to determine changes in weight while employed in that position. Follow-up averaged 6.9 years.


Eight hours or more of sitting daily was seen in 74% of appointment coordinators and 38% of clinical assistants (P < 0.001). Appointment coordinators were not as physically active (P = 0.026) and gained more weight (P = 0.045) over time than clinical assistants. Controlling for physical activity modestly attenuated the effect of occupation on weight gain over time (P = 0.061).


Occupation has a profound influence on sitting and may influence physical activity and weight gain over time.

Address correspondence to: Warren G. Thompson, MD, Division of Preventive, Occupational, and Aerospace Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905 (

Supported by a grant from the Division of Preventive, Occupational, and Aerospace Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine