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Physically active workers risk an early death: report

By Ella Pickover

Men who are highly physically active during their working day may be at an increased risk of early death, researchers have warned.

Experts said they have found a "physical activity paradox" whereby male workers who have a high level of occupational physical activity have a significantly higher mortality risk compared with those who have low levels.

Their new study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, examined 33 research articles involving almost 200,000 people.

They found that male workers engaging in high-level occupational physical activity - such as construction workers, assembly line workers, airport baggage handlers or healthcare workers - had an 18% increased risk of death compared with sedentary workers.

No such link was found among female employees.

Dr Pieter Coenen from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, wrote: "These findings suggest that a physical activity paradox may exist in male workers, with high levels of occupational physical activity being associated with detrimental health consequences, in contrast with the existing evidence of beneficial health consequences with moderate and/or high level leisure time physical activity."

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