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Leisure time physical activity and subsequent physical and mental health functioning among midlife Finnish, British and Japanese employees: a follow-up study in three occupational cohorts

Lahti, J; Sabia, S; Singh-Manoux, A; Kivimäki, M; Tatsuse, T; Yamada, M; Sekine, M; (2016) Leisure time physical activity and subsequent physical and mental health functioning among midlife Finnish, British and Japanese employees: a follow-up study in three occupational cohorts. BMJ Open , 6 (1) , Article e009788. 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009788. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to examine whether leisure time physical activity contributes to subsequent physical and mental health functioning among midlife employees. The associations were tested in three occupational cohorts from Finland, Britain and Japan. DESIGN: Cohort study. SETTING: Finland, Britain and Japan. PARTICIPANTS: Prospective employee cohorts from the Finnish Helsinki Health Study (2000-2002 and 2007, n=5958), British Whitehall II study (1997-1999 and 2003-2004, n=4142) and Japanese Civil Servants Study (1998-1999 and 2003, n=1768) were used. Leisure time physical activity was classified into three groups: inactive, moderately active and vigorously active. PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURE: Mean scores of physical and mental health functioning (SF-36) at follow-up were examined. RESULTS: Physical activity was associated with better subsequent physical health functioning in all three cohorts, however, with varying magnitude and some gender differences. Differences were the clearest among Finnish women (inactive: 46.0, vigorously active: 49.5) and men (inactive: 47.8, active vigorous: 51.1) and British women (inactive: 47.3, active vigorous: 50.4). In mental health functioning, the differences were generally smaller and not that clearly related to the intensity of physical activity. Emerging differences in health functioning were relatively small. CONCLUSIONS: Vigorous physical activity was associated with better subsequent physical health functioning in all three cohorts with varying magnitude. For mental health functioning, the intensity of physical activity was less important. Promoting leisure time physical activity may prove useful for the maintenance of health functioning among midlife employees.

Type: Article
Title: Leisure time physical activity and subsequent physical and mental health functioning among midlife Finnish, British and Japanese employees: a follow-up study in three occupational cohorts
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009788
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009788
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: PREVENTIVE MEDICINE, PUBLIC HEALTH, SPORTS MEDICINE
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1476375
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