-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
TUESDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- People's employment status
has an impact on how physically active they are during the
workweek, but men and women are affected differently, new research
The study from the U.S. National Institute on Aging measured the
levels of physical activity in people participating in the U.S.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which gathers
data on about 5,000 people each year. Physical activity data was
collected with the help of an accelerometer, a device worn around
the waist that detects body movements and their intensity.
The investigators found that full-time employed men in either
active or sedentary jobs were more active than healthy unemployed
men during the work week. In comparison, women with sedentary jobs
were less physically active Monday through Friday compared to
unemployed women. These differences in activity levels between
employed and unemployed people did not extend to weekends, the
The study authors also pointed out that, not surprisingly,
working people with sedentary jobs were less active than those in
more active professions. Gender, however, still played a role in
this finding: 22 percent of the men and 30 percent of the women who
held desk jobs were less active than those in more active
As a result, the study authors concluded that people who are
unemployed, particularly men, and those with sedentary jobs,
particularly women, should take steps to become more physically
active to reduce their risk of obesity, heart disease and high
blood pressure. Moreover, exercise might boost morale among men who
are job hunting.
Dane R. Van Domelen, post-baccalaureate fellow at the U.S.
National Institute on Aging Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography
and Biometry, and colleagues published their findings in the July
12 online edition of the
American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides
more information on
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