Leisure-time, occupational, and household physical activity among professional, skilled, and less-skilled workers and homemakers

Jo Salmon, Neville Owen, Adrian Bauman, M. Kathryn H. Schmitz, Michael Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


Background. Adults in lower status occupations are at higher risk of premature cardiovascular disease, for which physical inactivity is a major risk factor. While lower rates of leisure-time physical activity have been found to be associated consistently with lower income and education levels, the association between occupational and home-based physical activity with membership of different occupational categories is not well understood. Methods. An urban-representative population data set derived from a self- completion questionnaire was used to examine both self-reported leisure-time physical activity and a combined measure of occupational/home-based physical activity of adult less-skilled, skilled, and professional workers and homemakers (3795 males; 4140 females). χ2 analyses, ANOVA, and logistic regressions were used to examine the associations between occupational group membership and physical activity. Results. After adjustment for age, body mass index, education, country of birth, marital status, and smoking, less- skilled workers were less likely to report any form of leisure-time physical activity. However, occupational category was not a strong predictor of participation in combined vigorous occupational/home physical activity. Homemakers and those in lower status occupations were less likely to report participation in vigorous leisure-time physical activity sufficient for cardiorespiratory fitness. With the inclusion of time spent in combined vigorous occupational/home physical activity, there was no longer an association of activity with occupational status for males. However, for females the association remained. Conclusions. The assessment of occupational and household physical activity in addition to leisure-time activity may be important for understanding associations between occupational categories, physical activity, and increased levels of health risk and for the development of physical activity promotion strategies. (C) 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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