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Physical Activity Levels at Work and Outside of Work Among Commercial Construction Workers

Arias, Oscar E. MD, ScD; Caban-Martinez, Alberto J. DO, PhD, MPH; Umukoro, Peter E. MD, MPH; Okechukwu, Cassandra A. ScD; Dennerlein, Jack T. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2015 - Volume 57 - Issue 1 - p 73–78
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000303
Original Articles

Objective: Characterize the number of minutes of moderate and vigorous physical activities at work and outside of work during seven consecutive days, in a sample of 55 commercial construction workers.

Methods: Workers wore accelerometers during work and outside-of-work hours for seven consecutive days and completed brief survey at the seventh day of data collection.

Results: From the directly measured physical activity, the average number per participant of moderate minutes of occupational physical activity and physical activity outside of work obtained in short bouts were 243 minutes (65%) and 130 minutes (35%), respectively. Directly measured minutes of vigorous occupational physical activity were significant and positively correlated with self-reported fatigue.

Conclusions: Among commercial construction workers, physical activity from work contributes significantly, approximately two thirds, toward a worker's total amount of weekly minutes of moderate physical activity.

From the Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program (Drs Arias, Caban-Martinez, Umukoro, and Dennerlein), Department of Environmental Health; Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences (Dr Okechukwu), Harvard School of Public Health; Department of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences (Dr Dennerlein), Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University; and Harvard School of Public Health Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing (Drs Arias, Okechukwu, and Dennerlein), Boston, Mass.

Address correspondence to: Jack T. Dennerlein, PhD, Northeastern University, Robinson Hall 301, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115(

This work was partially supported by a pilot study grant from the Harvard School of Public Health Center for Work, Health and Wellbeing, a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Total Worker Health™ Center of Excellence (grant U19 OH008861). Other support included the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases grant T32 AR055885 and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health grant K01-OH010485.

Conflict of interest noted: none.

Copyright © 2015 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine