- Almost 80 % of contemporary jobs are sedentary in nature, involving little or no physical activity which pose a major health risk.
- Bus drivers reportedly spend nearly 83% of their time at work and 68% outside of work sitting.
- It is seen that nearly 74% of the study participants demonstrated to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to being overweight and obese.
A study was conducted at Loughborough University as part of the Leicester-Loughborough Diet, Lifestyle and Physical Activity Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) to analyze the sedentary job profile of bus drivers.
‘Sedentary jobs which involve sitting much of the day with the inability to move around, are not so good for waistline and could lead to obesity and other health problems.’
AdvertisementThis study was unique because it was the first of its kind to study periods of inactivity in bus drivers using an activPAL3™ accelerometer.
Twenty-eight bus drivers were chosen on a voluntary basis and they were continuously studied on three work days and one non-work day in a given week.
The results of the study showed that on working days, the participants were sedentary for more than 12 hours in a given day. When it came to a non-working day, the number of sitting time was reported to be about 9 hours. This reveals that bus drivers on an average sit for 3 hours more on a daily basis as compared to the office workers.
It was also seen that nearly 74% of the study participants demonstrated to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to being overweight and obese
As compared to other occupations, bus drivers were found to have higher sitting time during non-work days (about 62%), which the researchers speculate could be a spill-over effect of the time spent sitting during work days.
Veronica Varela Mato, a PhD student from Loughborough University's School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, part of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine East Midlands, was of the opinion that immediate interventions are needed to protect the health of the bus drivers since the study results indicate that they are at 'high risk' for developing health complications.
She further commented, "The findings of this pilot study suggest that bus drivers' health is suffering due to lengthy periods of sedentary behavior which tends to dominate the working day. This is why health interventions are needed sooner rather than later, not only to help increase bus drivers' movement during scheduled breaks, but also to boost drivers' levels of physical activity during leisure time.
The study authors recommend that the bus drivers need to have regular breaks in their sitting periods to improve their health. One of the feasible approach could be the introduction of pedometer-based walking challenge, which would motivate the bus drivers to get up and walk during non-working hours or during breaks.
The authors also suggest a detailed study to be done in the near future with larger and more diverse group of drivers.