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On the health paradox of occupational and leisure-time physical activity using objective measurements: Effects on autonomic imbalance
University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2741-1868
National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark.
National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2017 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 5, e0177042Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective

Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) has considerable benefits for cardiovascular health and longevity, while occupational physical activity (OPA) is associated with an elevated cardiovascular risk. This “health paradox” may be explained by different effects on the autonomic nervous system from OPA and LTPA. Thus, we aimed to investigate whether objectively measured OPA and LTPA are differentially associated with autonomic regulation among workers.

Methods

The study comprised 514 blue-collar workers from the Danish cohort DPHACTO. Physical activity (i.e. walking, climbing stairs, running and cycling) was assessed objectively using accelerometers worn on the thigh, hip and trunk over multiple working days. During this period, a heart rate monitor was used to sample heart period intervals from the ECG signal. Heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) indices were analyzed during nocturnal sleep as markers of autonomic regulation. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the main effects of OPA and LTPA and their interaction on heart rate and HRV, adjusting for multiple confounders.

Results

Statistically significant interaction was found between OPA and LTPA on heart rate (adjusted p<0.0001) and HRV indices in time (rMSSD, adjusted p = 0.004) and frequency-domains (HF, adjusted p = 0.022; LF, adjusted p = 0.033). The beneficial effect of LTPA on nocturnal heart rate and HRV clearly diminished with higher levels of OPA, and high levels of both OPA and LTPA had a detrimental effect.

Conclusion

We found contrasting associations for objectively measured OPA and LTPA with heart rate and HRV during sleep. Differential effects of OPA and LTPA on autonomic regulation may contribute to the physical activity health paradox.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 12, no 5, e0177042
Keyword [en]
accelerometer; cardiovascular disease; heart rate variability; occupational health; workers
National Category
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-22365OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-22365DiVA: diva2:963104
Projects
SitNeck
Available from: 2016-09-08 Created: 2016-09-08 Last updated: 2017-05-08

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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