The Relation of Combined Aerobic and Muscle-Strengthening Physical Activities With Presenteeism

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: There is a need to understand physical activity types associated with health-related work limitations (also known as presenteeism). This study tests whether additive effects between physical activity types are associated with health-related work limitations among employees from a public university system. Methods: A cross-sectional study using health assessment data (n = 10,791) was used to examine aims. Analysis of covariance models tested differences in work limitations between physical activity groups based on combinations of stretching behavior, aerobic, and muscle-strengthening physical activities. Planned contrasts compared differences between selected groups. Results: There were significant group differences (P < .001) in reported work limitations after controlling for demographic, season, and health-related variables. Employees who reported participating in aerobic physical activity had significantly lower work limitation levels compared with inactive employees (P = .027). Employees who reported participating in both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activities had the lowest work limitation levels compared with all groups and significantly lower work limitation levels compared with employees who participated in aerobic physical activity only (P = .026). Conclusions: Results provide evidence of an additive effect where participating in a combination of aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activities may be most beneficial when targeting health-related work limitations.

Walker and Diamond are with the Dept of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX. Tullar is with the Dept of Management, Policy and Community Health, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX. Kohl is with the Dept of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX; and Dept of Kinesiology and Health Education, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. Amick is with the Dept of Health Policy and Management, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, Miami, FL; and Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Walker (timothy.j.walker@uth.tmc.edu) is corresponding author.
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