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Work participation and physicality of work in young adulthood and the development of unhealthy lifestyle habits and obesity later in life: a prospective cohort study
  1. Rahman Shiri1,
  2. Jaana Halonen2,
  3. Anna Serlachius3,
  4. Nina Hutri-Kähönen4,
  5. Olli T Raitakari5,6,7,
  6. Jussi Vahtera7,8,
  7. Jorma Viikari9,10,
  8. Tea Lallukka1,11
  1. 1Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
  2. 2National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3Department of Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  4. 4Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
  5. 5Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  6. 6Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  7. 7Centre for Population Health Research, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  8. 8Department of Public Health, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  9. 9Department of Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  10. 10Division of Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  11. 11Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rahman Shiri, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, 00250 Helsinki, Finland; rahman.shiri{at}ttl.fi

Abstract

Objective To determine the effects of early entry into the labour market and physicality of work in young adulthood on the development of obesity and unhealthy lifestyle habits later in life.

Methods This study is a part of the Young Finns Study. Entry into the labour market and physicality of work were measured at baseline, when participants were aged 18, 21, or 24 years in 1986 or 18 years in 1989. Follow-up of lifestyle habits were conducted in 2001, 2007 and 2011. The outcomes were obesity (n=5558 observations), abdominal obesity (n=4060 observations), daily smoking (n=5628) and leisure time physical activity (n=5946) and analysed with generalised estimating equation.

Results Compared with sedentary work, physicality of work in young adulthood increased the odds of future obesity (adjusted OR=1.32, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.74 for light/moderate work and OR=1.44, 95% CI 0.99 to 2.08 for heavy manual work (particularly in women OR=2.03, 95% CI 1.07 to 3.84)) and future smoking (OR=1.79, 95% CI 1.39 to 2.30 for light/moderate work and OR=2.01, 95% CI 1.47 to 2.76 for heavy manual work (particularly in women OR=2.81, 95% CI 1.60 to 4.91)). For those who entered the labour market at ages 18–21 or younger, the odds of smoking was 1.85 times (95% CI 1.26 to 2.73) and that of obesity 1.45 times (95% CI 1.01 to 2.10) higher, and the rate of leisure time physical activity was 0.73 times (95% CI 0.58 to 0.93) lower compared with those who entered the labour market at ages 22–24 years.

Conclusion Early entry into the labour market and physicality of work in young adulthood shape the development of obesity and unhealthy behaviours in later adulthood.

  • workload
  • smoking
  • physical work
  • epidemiology
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Footnotes

  • Twitter @jaana_halonen, @TeaLallukka

  • Contributors All authors meet the criteria of authorship and planned the study. RS analysed the data and drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to the interpretation of the results and critical revision of the manuscript and approved the final version of the manuscript for publication.

  • Funding The Academy of Finland (Grants #287488 and #319200) supported this study.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The local ethics committees approved the study protocol and the participants gave written informed consent.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.

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