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Long Work Hours and Adiposity Among Police Officers in a US Northeast City

Gu, Ja K. MSPH; Charles, Luenda E. PhD, MPH; Burchfiel, Cecil M. PhD, MPH; Fekedulegn, Desta PhD; Sarkisian, Khachatur MS; Andrew, Michael E. PhD; Ma, Claudia MPH; Violanti, John M. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 11 - p 1374–1381
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31825f2bea
Original Articles

Objective: To investigate the associations between long work hours and adiposity measures in police officers.

Methods: Participants included 408 officers from the Buffalo Cardio-Metabolic Occupational Police Stress study who were examined between 2004 and 2009. Total work hours were abstracted from payroll records and questionnaires. Analysis of variance and covariance models were used.

Results: Among male officers who worked the midnight shift, mean values of waist circumference and body mass index increased with longer work hours after adjustment for age, physical activity, energy intake, sleep duration, smoking status, police rank, activities after work (eg, child/family care, sports), and household income. Adiposity measures were not associated with work hours among women on any shift.

Conclusion: Working longer hours was significantly associated with larger waist circumferences and higher body mass index among male police officers working the midnight shift.

From the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Branch (Mr Gu, Mr Sarkisian, Ms Ma, and Drs Charles, Burchfiel, Fekedulegn, and Andrew), Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morgantown, WV; and Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (Dr Violanti), School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY.

Address correspondence to: Ja K. Gu, MSPH, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HELD/BEB, Mailstop L-4050, 1095 Willowdale Rd, Morgantown, WV 26505 (

This work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), contract 200–2003-01580.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIOSH.

None of the authors has any conflicts of interest.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine