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On-the-Job Activity Boosts Americans' Exercise Levels
Date:5/28/2011

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- On-the-job physical activity contributes to a person's overall fitness, and should be considered when evaluating whether an individual meets recommended physical activity guidelines, a new U.S. government report says.

Using existing guidelines, which only take into account leisure-time physical activity, a study by the Washington State Department of Health (WADOH) found that about 64 percent of U.S. adults met minimum standards. But when their work-related activity was also included, another 6.5 percent of adults achieved the recommended activity level, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Less-educated individuals and Hispanics were more likely than others to report significant amounts of on-the-job physical activity, which primarily consisted of walking or heavy labor, said the study published in the May 27 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

For men who had not completed high school, the rate who met guidelines through work-related activity jumped 15.9 percent, from 55.7 percent to 71.6 percent. The rate for Hispanic men rose 14.4 percent when occupational exercise was considered, from 60.6 percent to 75 percent. These men were less likely than whites to have met physical activity guidelines through non-work-related activity, the report found.

Assessing the frequency and duration of work activity as well as leisure-time exercise would more accurately indicate whether Americans are active enough to benefit their health, the report said.

The report also said that "consideration of occupational physical activity in the monitoring of population physical activity levels can help to identify demographic groups for targeted programs to increase physical activity."

Broken down by gender, more than two-thirds (68.5 percent) of men met the guidelines through leisure-time activity. When job-related phys
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