A1 Journal article – refereed
Daily physical activity patterns among aging workers: the Finnish Retirement and Aging Study (FIREA)

List of Authors: Pulakka A, Leskinen T, Koster A, Pentti J, Vahtera J, Stenholm S
Publication year: 2019
Journal: Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Journal name in source: Occupational and environmental medicine
Journal acronym: Occup Environ Med
Volume number: 76
Issue number: 1
ISSN: 1351-0711
eISSN: 1470-7926


Objectives Physical activity is associated with the aging workers' ability to work and predicts working beyond retirement age. To better understand physical activity behaviour in this growing population group, we aimed at characterising 24-hour physical activity patterns among aging workers, and to describe the association between occupational category and total, occupational and leisure-time physical activities.

Methods We included 878 workers (mean age 62.4 years, SD 1.1, 85% women) from the Finnish Retirement and Aging Study, who wore an accelerometer on their non-dominant wrist for 1 week. We plotted mean hourly activity counts per minute (CPM) for working days and days off. We also compared mean daily CPM between genders and occupations between working days and days off, and work and leisure time by using repeated measures analysis of variance.

Results Activity patterns were different between genders, occupations and types of the day. Women (2580, 95% CI 2540 to 2620) had higher daily mean CPM than men (2110, 95% CI 2020 to 2000). Women in manual occupations were more active than women in non-manual occupations during working days. The differences among men were in the same direction but less pronounced than among women. We found no differences in activity levels between occupations during days off and leisure time on working days.

Conclusions In aging workers, physical activity differs by gender and occupation during working time, but not during leisure time. As low physical activity is associated with increased risk of early exit from employment, physical activity should be promoted at workplaces, especially among men and people in non-manual occupations.

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 21:57