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The Physical Strenuousness of Work is Slightly Associated with an Upward Trend in the Body Mass Index

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Author Info

  • Böckerman, Petri

    ()
    (Labour Institute for Economic Research)

  • Johansson, Edvard

    ()
    (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Jousilahti, Pekka

    ()
    (National Public Health Institute)

  • Uutela, Antti

    ()
    (National Public Health Institute)

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between the physical strenuousness of work and the body mass index in Finland, using individual microdata over the period 1972-2002. The data contain self-reported information about the physical strenuousness of a respondent’s current occupation. Our estimates show that the changes in the physical strenuousness of work can explain around 8% at most of the definite increase in BMI observed over the period. The main reason for this appears to be that the quantitative magnitude of the effect of the physical strenuousness of work on BMI is rather moderate. Hence, according to the point estimates, BMI is only around 1.5% lower when one’s current occupation is physically very demanding and involves lifting and carrying heavy objects compared with sedentary job (reference group of the estimations), other things being equal. Accordingly, the changes in eating habits and the amount of physical activity during leisure time must be the most important contributors to the upward trend in BMI in industrialised countries, but not the changes in the labour market structure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hanken School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 523.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: 08 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhb:hanken:0523

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Hanken School of Economics, Arkadiankatu 22, P.O.B. 479; FIN 00101 Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358-9-431 331
Fax: +358-9-431 33 333
Web page: http://www.hanken.fi
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Related research

Keywords: BMI; body mass index; obesity; overweight; occupational structure;

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References

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  1. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Segercrantz, Beata, 2007. "Constructing Stability in Software Product Development during Organizational Restructurings," Working Papers 527, Hanken School of Economics.
  2. Strandvik, Tore & Holmlund, Maria & Edvardsson, Bo, 2008. "Customer Needing - Conceptualising Industrial Service from a Customer Perspective," Working Papers 536, Hanken School of Economics.
  3. Kulp-Tåg, Sofie, 2007. "An Empirical Comparison of Linear and Nonlinear Volatility Models for Nordic Stock Returns," Working Papers 525, Hanken School of Economics.
  4. Ahlgren, Niklas & Juselius, Mikael, 2009. "Tests for Cointegration Rank and the Initial Condition," Working Papers 539, Hanken School of Economics.
  5. Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2010. "Does physical capacity explain the height premium?," MPRA Paper 20108, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Wägar, Karolina & Björk, Peter & Ravald, Annika & West, Björn, 2007. "Exploring Marketing in Micro Firms," Working Papers 531, Hanken School of Economics.
  7. Sjöholm, Hans-Kristian, 2007. "The Impact of New Capital Requirements on the Portfolio Decisions of Finnish Pension Institutions," Working Papers 532, Hanken School of Economics.

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