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August/September 2013 (vol. 10/2)

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Research Plus

Early exit for obese workers

This systematic review and meta-analysis (28 included studies) examined the influence of obesity or lack of physical activity on exiting paid employment through disability pension, unemployment or early retirement. Both obesity (body mass index (BMI) at least 30 kg/m2) and (to a lesser extent) being overweight (BMI at least 25 kg/m2 but under 30 kg/m2) significantly increased the risk of exiting employment on a disability pension (relative risks 1.53 and 1.16, respectively). However, there were no statistically significant associations with unemployment or early retirement. Lack of physical activity during leisure time was a significant risk factor for exiting work on a disability pension or being made unemployed, but not for early retirement. The meta-analysis was restricted to disability pension outcomes owing to the limited number of studies on unemployment and early retirement.

Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 2013; 39(3): 233–240.


Occupational Health at Work August/September 2013 (vol. 10/2) pp40