Occupational and nonoccupational physical activity and the social determinants of physical activity: results from the Health Survey for England

J Phys Act Health. 2008 Jan;5(1):104-16. doi: 10.1123/jpah.5.1.104.


Background: This article aims to examine the relative contribution of occupational activity to English adults' meeting of government recommendations for physical activity (PA).

Methods: Data were extracted from a cross-sectional survey of householders in the UK via the Health Survey for England.1 In total, 14,018 adult participants were included in the analysis. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine the odds of achieving PA recommendations with and without including occupational activity and to examine the contribution of gender and social and demographic characteristics.

Results: When occupational PA was included, 36% of men and 25% of women were active at the recommended level. Once occupational PA was removed, these proportions were 23% and 19%, respectively. These results were socially patterned, most notably by age and gender.

Conclusions: Occupational PA provides a substantial contribution to those meeting the government target for PA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • England
  • Exercise* / physiology
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Social Class*