Daily Physical Activity Patterns and Their Association With Health-Related Physical Fitness Among Aging Workers-The Finnish Retirement and Aging Study

Sari Stenholm*, Anna Pulakka, Tuija Leskinen, Jaana Pentti, Olli J. Heinonen, Annemarie Koster, Jussi Vahtera

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: This study aimed to identify accelerometer-measured daily physical activity patterns, and to examine how they associate with health-related physical fitness among aging workers.

Methods: The study population consisted of 263 participants (mean age 62.4 years, SD 1.0) from the Finnish Retirement and Aging study, who used wrist-worn ActiGraph accelerometer for at least 1 week including both workdays and days off. Health-related physical fitness measures included body composition (waist circumference, bioimpedance), cardiorespiratory fitness (bicycle ergometer test), and muscular fitness (push-up and chair rise tests).

Results: Based on the latent class trajectory analysis, 6 trajectories were identified for workdays showing variation in activity level on working hours and on evening hours. Moderate activity during working hours and increase of activity level in the evening was associated with the most favorable health-related fitness in comparison to low activity throughout the workday: waist circumference 90.0 cm (95% confidence interval [CI] 85.5-94.5) versus 99.5 cm (95% CI 96.8-102.3), fat mass 13.9 kg (9.3-18.5) versus 23.8 kg (20.2-27.4), cardiorespiratory fitness 33.4 mL/kg/min (95% CI 31.4-35.3) versus 29.1 mL/kg/min (95% CI 27.8-30.3) (adjusted for age, sex, days off activity, smoking, and alcohol). For the days off, 2 different trajectories were identified, but they differed only in terms of level and not by timing of physical activity.

Conclusions: A large variation in the workday physical activity patterns was observed among aging workers. Independent of worktime activity, people who were more active in the evenings had more favorable health-related physical fitness than those who were less active throughout the day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1250
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology Series A-Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Body composition
  • Latent class analysis
  • Leisure-time physical activity
  • Occupational physical activity
  • Physical fitness
  • RISK

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