The physical strenuousness of work is slightly associated with an upward trend in the BMI

Petri Böckerman, Edvard Johansson, Pekka Jousilahti, Antti Uutela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the physical strenuousness of work and the BMI in Finland, using individual microdata at 5-year intervals over the period 1972-2002. Data came from the National FINRISK Study which contains self-reported information on the physical strenuousness of a respondent's occupation. Our estimates show that the changes in the physical strenuousness of work explain around 7% at most of the increase in BMI for Finnish males observed over a period of 30 years. The main reason for this appears to be the effect of the physical strenuousness of work on BMI which is rather moderate. According to the point estimates, BMI is 2.4% lower when a male's occupation is physically very demanding and involves lifting and carrying heavy objects compared with a sedentary job (reference group of the estimations), other things being equal. Furthermore, it is very difficult to associate the changes in the occupational structure with the upward trend in BMI for females, and the contribution of the changes in the occupational structure is definitely even smaller for females than it is for males. All in all, we show that the changes in self-reported occupation show a slight association with the changes in the logarithm of the BMI scores.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalSocial Science & Medicine
Volume66
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1346-1355
Number of pages10
ISSN0277-9536
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 03.2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 511 Economics
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Occupational structure
  • Physical strenuousness
  • Longitudinal
  • Finland

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