Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 102, Issue 3, pp 169–173 | Cite as

Occupational Physical Activity and Body Mass Index (BMI) Among Canadian Adults: Does Physical Activity at Work Help to Explain the Socio-economic Patterning of Body Weight?

  • Amanda BarberioEmail author
  • Lindsay McLaren
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Background

The behavioural and socio-cultural processes underlying the association between socio-economic position (SEP) and body mass index (BMI) remain unclear. Occupational physical activity (OPA) is one plausible explanatory variable that has not been previously considered.

Objectives

1) To examine the association between OPA and BMI, and 2) to examine whether OPA mediates the SEP-BMI association, in a Canadian population-based sample.

Methods

This cross-sectional study was based on secondary analysis of the 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey data, focusing on adults (age 25–64) working at a job or business (men, n=1,036; women, n=936). BMI was based on measured height and weight and we derived a novel indicator of OPA from the National Occupational Classification Career Handbook. Our analytic technique was ordinary least squares regression, adjusting for a range of socio-demographic, health and behavioural covariates.

Results

OPA was marginally associated with BMI in women, such that women with medium levels of OPA tended to be lighter than women with low levels of OPA, in adjusted models. No associations between OPA and BMI were detected for males. Baron and Kenny’s (1986) three conditions for testing mediation were not satisfied, and thus we were unable to proceed with testing OPA as a mediator.

Conclusions

Notwithstanding the small effects observed in women, overall the associations between OPA and BMI were neither clear nor strong, which could reflect conceptual and/or methodological reasons. Future research on this topic might incorporate other plausible explanatory variables (e.g., job-related psychosocial stress) and adopt a prospective design.

Key words

Body mass index occupation physical activity Canada 

Résumé

Contexte

Les processus comportementaux et socioculturels qui sous-tendent l’association entre le statut socioéconomique (SSE) et l’indice de masse corporelle (IMC) sont encore obscurs. L’activité physique au travail (APT) est une variable explicative plausible qui n’a pas encore été envisagée.

Objectifs

1) Examiner l’association entre l’APT et l’IMC, et 2) déterminer si l’APT a un effet modérateur sur l’association SSE-IMC, dans un échantillon représentatif de la population canadienne.

Méthode

Cette étude transversale est fondée sur une analyse secondaire des données de l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes de 2008. Elle s’intéresse aux adultes (25 à 64 ans) ayant un emploi ou une entreprise (1 036 hommes et 936 femmes). L’IMC a été calculé selon la taille et le poids mesurés, et nous avons dérivé un nouvel indicateur de l’APT à partir du Guide sur les carrières de la Classification nationale des professions. Nous avons procédé à une régression ordinaire par la méthode des moindres carrés en tenant compte d’une gamme de covariables sociodémographiques, sanitaires et comportementales.

Résultats

L’APT était marginalement associée à l’IMC chez les femmes du fait que, dans les modèles rajustés, les femmes ayant des niveaux moyens d’APT avaient tendance à peser moins que les femmes ayant de faibles niveaux d’APT. Aucune association entre l’APT et l’IMC n’a été décelée chez les hommes. Les trois conditions de Baron et Kenny (1986) pour tester l’effet modérateur n’ont pas été remplies; nous n’avons donc pas pu déterminer si l’APT était une variable modératrice.

Conclusion

Sauf pour de légers effets observés chez les femmes, dans l’ensemble, les associations entre l’APT et l’IMC n’étaient ni claires, ni fortes, mais cela pourrait s’expliquer par des raisons conceptuelles ou méthodologiques. Les recherches futures sur ce sujet pourraient incorporer d’autres variables explicatives plausibles (p. ex., le stress psychosocial lié à l’emploi) et adopter un plan d’étude prospectif.

Mots clés

indice de masse corporelle professions exercice physique Canada 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Tjepkema M. Adult obesity. Health Rep 2006;17:9–25.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bray GA. Medical consequences of obesity. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2004;89:2583–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brownell KD, Puhl R, Schwartz MB, Rudd L. Weight Bias: Nature, Consequences, and Remedies. New York, NY: The Guilford Press, 2005.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Katzmarzyk PT, Janssen I. The economic costs associated with physical inactivity and obesity in Canada: An update. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2004;29:90–115.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    McLaren L. Socioeconomic status and obesity. Epidemiol Rev 2007;29:29–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Shaw M, Galobardes B, Lawlor DA, Lynch J, Wheeler B, Smith GD. The Handbook of Inequality and Socioeconomic Position: Concepts and Measures. Bristol, UK: The Policy Press, 2008.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kuhle S, Veugelers PJ. Why does the social gradient in health not apply to overweight. Health Rep 2008;19:7–15.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ward H, Tarasuk V, Mendelson R. Socioeconomic patterns of obesity in Canada: Modeling the role of health behaviour. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2007;32:206–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Macera CA, Pratt M. Public health surveillance of physical activity. Res Q Exercise Sport 2000;71: 97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Craig CL, Russell SJ, Cameron CC, Bauman A. Twenty-year trends in physical activity among Canadian adults. Can J Public Health 2004;95(1):59–63.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Pratt M, Macera CA, Sallis JF, O’Donnell M, Frank L. Economic interventions to promote physical activity: Application of the SLOTH model. Am J Prev Med 2004;27:136–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    King GA, Fitzhugh EC, Bassett Jr. DR, McLaughlin JE, Strath SJ, Swartz AM, et al. Relationship of leisure-time physical activity and occupational activity to the prevalence of obesity. Int J Obesity 2001;25:606–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Barengo NC, Kastarinen M, Lakka T, Nissinen A, Tuomilehto J. Different forms of physical activity and cardiovascular risk factors among 24–64-year-old men and women in Finland. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil 2006;13:51–59.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Larsson I, Lissner L, Naslund I, Lindroos AK. Leisure and occupational physical activity in relation to body mass index in men and women. Scand J Nutr 2004;48:165–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Monda KL, Adair LS, Zhai F, Popkin BM. Longitudinal relationships between occupational and domestic physical activity patterns and body weight in China. Eur J Clin Nutr 2007;62:1318–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sofi F, Capalbo A, Marcucci R, Gori AM, Fedi S, Macchi C, et al. Leisure time but not occupational physical activity significantly affects cardiovascular risk factors in an adult population. Eur J Clin Invest 2007;37:947–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ball K, Owen N, Salmon J, Bauman A, Gore CJ. Associations of physical activity with body weight and fat in men and women. Int J Obes 2001;25:914–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mummery WK, Schofield GM, Steele R, Eakin EG, Brown WJ. Occupational sitting time and overweight and obesity in Australian workers. Am J Prev Med 2005;29(2):91–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Gutierrez-Fisac JL, Guallar-Castillon P, Diez-Ganan L, Garcia EL, Banegas JR, Artalejo FR. Work-related physical activity is not associated with body mass index and obesity. Obes Res 2002;10(4):270–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kaleta D, Makowiec-Dabrowska T, Jegier A. Occupational and leisure-time energy expenditure and body mass index. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2007;20(1):9–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Abu-Omar K, Rutten A. Relation of leisure time, occupational, domestic, and commuting physical activity to health indicators in Europe. Prev Med 2008;47:319–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Raine KD. Overweight and obesity in Canada: A population health perspective. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2004.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Healton CG, Vallone D, McCausland KL, Xiao H, Green MP. Smoking, obesity and their co-occurrence in the United States: Cross-sectional analysis. Br Med J 2006;33:25–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Suter PM, Tremblay A. Is alcohol consumption a risk factor for weight gain and obesity. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci 2005;42:197–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Shields M. Long working hours and health. Health Rep 1999;11:33–38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Baron RM, Kenny DA. The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic and statistical considerations. J Pers Soc Psychol 1986;51:1173–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Paeratakul S, Popkin BM, Keyou G, Adair LS, Stevens J. Changes in diet and physical activity affect the body mass index of Chinese adults. Int J Obes Rel Metab Disord 1998;22:424–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Prentice AM, Jebb SA. Beyond body mass index. Obes Rev 2001;2:141–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Connor Gorber S, Shields M, Tremblay MS, McDowell I. The feasibility of establishing correction factors to adjust self-reported estimates of obesity. Health Rep 2008;19:71–82.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gorber CS, Tremblay M, Moher D, Gorber B. A comparison of direct vs. self report measures for assessing height, weight and body mass index: A systematic review. Obesity Rev 2007;8:307–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Marmot M. Social determinants of health inequalities. Lancet 2005;365:1099–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Raphael D. Social Determinants of Health: Canadian Perspectives, 2und ed. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc., 2009.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Bjorntorp J. Do stress reactions cause abdominal obesity and comorbidities. Obes Rev 2001;2:73–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community Health SciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations