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Is Participation in Occupational Physical Activity Associated With Lifestyle Physical Activity Levels?

Kruger, Judy PhD, MS; Yore, Michelle M. MSPH; Ainsworth, Barbara E. PhD, MPH; Macera, Caroline A. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2006 - Volume 48 - Issue 11 - p 1143-1148
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000245919.37147.79
Original Articles

Objective: Little is known about the prevalence of lifestyle physical activity (PA) by occupational PA (mostly sitting, walking, or heavy labor).

Methods: Descriptive and adjusted multivariable logistic regression analysis of lifestyle PA (regularly active, irregularly active, inactive) and occupational activity was used (N = 6,360).

Results: The prevalence of regular lifestyle activity was 45.7% among those who sit/stand, 49.6% among walkers, and 59.7% among heavy laborers. The regression analysis showed that adults working in heavy labor were almost twice as likely to be regularly active as those who sit/stand.

Conclusion: Contrary to expectation, adults who engage in physically demanding work appear to be more active outside the job. Those who are sedentary at work could benefit from having access to opportunities for PA during the workday and trying to engage in activity outside of work hours.

From the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Dr Kruger, Ms Yore), Atlanta, Georgia; the Department of Exercise and Wellness, East College (Dr Ainsworth), Arizona State University, Mesa, Arizona; and the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University (Dr Macera), San Diego, California.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USDHHS, or the U.S. Government.

Address correspondence to: Judy Kruger, PhD, MS, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy. NE, K-46, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717; E-mail:

©2006The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine