Intensity of Occupational Physical Activity and Obesity in US Workers: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2009.
Marcum, Rodd Everett
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BACKGROUND: Reducing adult obesity is a public health priority in the United States. Occupational energy expenditure is a key component in overall energy balance. US workers have become increasingly sedentary at work. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between the intensity of occupational physical activity and obesity. METHODS: Cross-sectional design utilizing 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2009 data employing logistic regression to examine multiple confounders and potential modification by gender, age and compliance with leisure time physical activity guidelines. The primary exposure was self-reported intensity of occupational physical activity and the outcome of interest was body mass index as determined by self-reported height and weight. RESULTS: The majority of sedentary jobs were held by women while occupations with vigorous physical activity were held primarily by men. Increased occupational physical activity was associated with significantly lower odds of obesity in US workers. The odds ratio comparing workers with vigorous occupational physical activity to those with sedentary jobs, adjusted for gender, age and education, was 0.82 (95% CI 0.76, 0.89). While over 45% of all study participants reported adequate leisure time physical activity, there was no evidence of interaction with occupational physical activity in its association with obesity. CONCLUSION: A sedentary occupation is associated with increased odds of being obese in US adult workers.
- Epidemiology