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The physical strenuousness of work is slightly associated with an upward trend in the BMI

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  • Böckerman, Petri
  • Johansson, Edvard
  • Jousilahti, Pekka
  • Uutela, Antti

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the physical strenuousness of work and the BMI in Finland, using individual microdata at 5-year intervals over the period 1972-2002. Data came from the National FINRISK Study which contains self-reported information on the physical strenuousness of a respondent's occupation. Our estimates show that the changes in the physical strenuousness of work explain around 7% at most of the increase in BMI for Finnish males observed over a period of 30 years. The main reason for this appears to be the effect of the physical strenuousness of work on BMI which is rather moderate. According to the point estimates, BMI is 2.4% lower when a male's occupation is physically very demanding and involves lifting and carrying heavy objects compared with a sedentary job (reference group of the estimations), other things being equal. Furthermore, it is very difficult to associate the changes in the occupational structure with the upward trend in BMI for females, and the contribution of the changes in the occupational structure is definitely even smaller for females than it is for males. All in all, we show that the changes in self-reported occupation show a slight association with the changes in the logarithm of the BMI scores.

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  • Böckerman, Petri & Johansson, Edvard & Jousilahti, Pekka & Uutela, Antti, 2008. "The physical strenuousness of work is slightly associated with an upward trend in the BMI," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(6), pages 1346-1355, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:66:y:2008:i:6:p:1346-1355
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2007. "Labor Supply and Weight," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(1).
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    6. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
    7. David B. Audretsch & Dawne DiOrio, 2007. "The Spread of Obesity," Chapters,in: Obesity, Business and Public Policy, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Petri Böckerman & Edvard Johansson & Satu Helakorpi & Ritva Prättälä & Erkki Vartiainen & Antti Uutela, 2007. "Does a slump really make you thinner? Finnish micro-level evidence 1978-2002," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 103-107.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mathilde Godard, 2017. "Gaining weight through retirement? Results from the SHARE survey," Working Papers halshs-01525000, HAL.
    2. Jay Teachman & Lucky Tedrow, 2013. "Veteran Status and Body Weight: A Longitudinal Fixed-Effects Approach," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(2), pages 199-220, April.
    3. Godard, Mathilde, 2016. "Gaining weight through retirement? Results from the SHARE survey," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 27-46.
    4. Archana Dang & Pushkar Maitra & Nidhiya Menon, 2017. "Labor Market Engagement and the Health of Working Adults: Evidence from India," Working Papers id:12218, eSocialSciences.
    5. Dang, Archana & Maitra, Pushkar & Menon, Nidhiya, 2017. "Labor Market Engagement and the Health of Working Adults: Evidence from India," IZA Discussion Papers 11118, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11535 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Petri Böckerman & Edvard Johansson & Urpo Kiiskinen & Markku Heilövaara, 2010. "Does Physical Capacity Explain the Height Premium?," Working Papers 1074, University of Tampere, School of Management, Economics.
    8. Johansson, Edvard & Böckerman, Petri & Kiiskinen, Urpo & Heliövaara, Markku, 2009. "Obesity and labour market success in Finland: The difference between having a high BMI and being fat," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 36-45, March.

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