Occupation, Sitting, and Weight Change in a Cohort of Women Employees

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Few studies have looked at occupation and weight gain over time. We examined the influence of occupation on sitting and weight change in employed women.


A total of 228 women working as appointment coordinators or clinical assistants were surveyed regarding sitting and physical activity. Medical records were reviewed to determine changes in weight while employed in that position. Follow-up averaged 6.9 years.


Eight hours or more of sitting daily was seen in 74% of appointment coordinators and 38% of clinical assistants (P < 0.001). Appointment coordinators were not as physically active (P = 0.026) and gained more weight (P = 0.045) over time than clinical assistants. Controlling for physical activity modestly attenuated the effect of occupation on weight gain over time (P = 0.061).


Occupation has a profound influence on sitting and may influence physical activity and weight gain over time.

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