The Open Public Health Journal

ISSN: 1874-9445 ― Volume 13, 2020

Sitting Occupations and Physical Intensity of Work as Predictors of Mortality: A Retrospective Study of a Population of Workers in Southern Italy

Antonio Caputi1, Luigi De Maria1, Rodolfo Sardone2, Enza S. S. Cannone1, Francesca Mansi1, Francesco Birtolo1, Maria C. Delfino1, Domenica Cavone1, Luigi Vimercati1, *
1 Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
2 National Institute of Gastroenterology-Research Hospital, IRCCS 'Saverio de Bellis', Castellana Grotte, Bari, Italy



There is mounting evidence for an association between sedentary behaviour at work and an increase in all-cause death.


The aim of the present study is to compare the mortality risk between a group of workers who performed sedentary jobs and a group of workers who performed physical jobs.


A sample of 2325 subjects aged 65-84 years was randomly selected from the electoral rolls of eight municipalities in the Apulia region of southern Italy. All the participants underwent clinical exams and evaluation of work and lifetime physical activity via an interview. The jobs were divided into physical jobs (farmer, worker, attendant) and sedentary jobs (employee, manager, housewife, unemployed). Mortality data were acquired through the civil status office, and the Framingham risk score and the Fried frailty index were calculated.


We found that compared with subjects who performed sedentary jobs, subjects who performed physical jobs had a lower level of education (p = 0.005), a higher level of physical activity in the 30-40-years (p = 0.021) and 40-50-years (p = 0.042) divisions, and a lower mean Framingham score (p = 0.048). The mortality risk was higher for physical job workers than for sedentary job workers (HR = 0.56, 95% CI 0.707 - 0.462). In contrast, after adjusting the result for all covariates, the mortality risk was higher for sedentary job workers than for physical job workers (HR = 1.53, 95% CI 1.021 - 1.056).


Our results support public health initiatives and policies to encourage adults to move more and sit less at work and throughout their day.

Keywords: Sitting occupation, Workers, Sedentary behaviours, Physical heaviness of work, Mortality risk, Southern Italy.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2020
Volume: 13
First Page: 75
Last Page: 79
Publisher Id: TOPHJ-13-75
DOI: 10.2174/1874944502013010075

Article History:

Received Date: 11/11/2019
Revision Received Date: 21/01/2020
Acceptance Date: 27/01/2020
Electronic publication date: 20/03/2020
Collection year: 2020

© 2020 Caputi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy; Tel: 0039-080-5478256;

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