Introduction: In contrast to body postures during the entire day or during leisure, associations of work postures with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) have not been examined while adjusting for socioeconomic status, leisure time physical activity, fitness, and other CVD risk factors.
Methods: The associations between work postures (assessed by questionnaire at baseline) and 22-year incidence of first AMI (ascertained via record linkage with national registries) were estimated by Cox regression models adjusting for 19 confounders among 1831 Finnish men, separately for those with (n = 1515) and without (n = 316) pre-existing ischemic heart disease (IHD).
Results: In the full sample, work postures showed no substantial associations with AMI risk except for “standing quite a lot” (HR 1.26; 95%CI 0.94–1.70). The effects of work postures differed by baseline IHD status. Among men without IHD, sitting showed 7–16% reduced risks, standing 4–21% increased risks, and walking had no impact. Among men with IHD, walking showed 18–23% reduced risks, sitting “quite a lot” or “very much” showed 28% and 67% increased risks, respectively. Standing “a little” (HR 1.38, 95%CI 0.79–2.42) and “quite a lot” (HR 1.33, 95%CI 0.73–2.41) were positively but standing “very much” (HR 0.68, 95%CI 0.36–1.32) inversely associated with AMI.
Conclusions: Considering previously reported strong positive associations between standing and progression of atherosclerosis the latter finding is probably due to healthy worker selection bias. It is therefore prudent not to recommend standing at work for men with IHD and to always consider IHD status when assessing risks and benefits of different work postures.
Physical activity Work posture Cardiovascular disease
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