Learn more about the measures of occupation-related physical activity across selected CLOSER studies
For background detail on this domain of physical activity, click here.
Occupational activity is the most sparsely measured domain in the studies covered by this guide, with data collected only across NSHD and NCDS from ages 33-55y. These measures are listed in the table below. Participants in both studies reported on a number of work-related activities in which they regularly engaged, including sitting, standing, taking stairs, walking, and moving/pushing heavy objects.
NCDS 33y asks about general physical activity at work (“how much physical effort is involved in your job”) while NSHD 36y asks about frequency of specific activities (“Time spent a) sitting b) walking, c) lifting during course of work”), although both use the same response options (none, a little, some, a lot)).
NSHD 43y and NCDS 44y ask questions similar about activities engaged in at work (NSHD: “At work do you regularly do any heavy lifting, carrying, or digging or other strenuous activities?”; NCDS: “Have you done each activity at work in the last year?”) and the included activities can be compared (NSHD: heavy lifting and carrying objects, NCDS: moving/pushing heavy objects).
|Age||Study||Variable name(s)||Question wording||Response scale(s)||Included activities||Timespan of recall|
|33||NCDS||N504361||"How much physical effort is involved in your job"||none, a little, some, a lot||*||not specified|
|36||NSHD||SIT82 WALK82 LIFT82||"Time spent a)sitting b)walking, c)lifting during course of work"||little, very little, moderate, a lot;|
none, less than half, about half, > half, practically all the time
|walking, sitting, heavy objects||not specified|
|43||NSHD||LIFT89||"At work do you regularly do any heavy lifting, carrying, or digging or other strenuous activities?"||not at all, < 1 hr a day, 1-2 hr a day, up to half a day, > half the day||heavy lifting, carrying, digging, strenuous activities||not specified|
|44||NCDS||sitlt sitlthr - movob movobhr||"Have you done each activity at work in the last year?"||light, moderate, heavy;|
|sitting, standing, walking, moving/pushing heaving objects, other activities||in past year|
|44||NCDS||wkstair wkladd||"At work, how many times a day do you normally: a) Climb up a flight of stairs (10 steps), b) Climb up a ladder"||occurrences/day||stairs, ladder||not specified|
|46||BCS70||B10Q19||"We would like to know the types and amount of physical activity involved in your work. Which of the following best corresponds to your present activities?"||sitting occupation, standing occupation, physical work, heavy manual work||not specified|
|"Number of times you climb up a flight of stairs (approx. 10 steps) at work b) Number of times you climb up a ladder at work"||None, 1 to 5 times a day, 6 to 10 times a day, 11 to 15 times a day, 16 to 20 times a day, More than 20 times a day||climbing stairs, climbing ladder||not specified|
|"In an average working day do you: a) Kneel for more than one hour in total? b) Squat for more than one hour in total? c) Get up from kneeling or squatting more than 30 times?"||Yes or no||average working day|
|50||NCDS||N8PHYSWK||"Physical activities involved in your work. Which option best correspond to your present activities?"||sitting, standing, physical work, heavy manual work||not specified|
|55||NCDS||N9PHYSWK||"Physical activities involved in your work. Which option best correspond to your present activities?"||sitting, standing, physical work, heavy manual work||not specified|
For the named items in the table above, links are provided (where applicable) to their corresponding content on CLOSER Discovery. Where a variable range is provided, full variable lists can be accessed through the ‘Variable Groups’ tab on the linked Discovery page.
Explore the other domains of physical activity & the comparability of measurements across studies:
- Summary of cross-study comparisons
- Leisure time physical activity
- Active travel
- Domestic activities
- Sedentary behaviour
Learn more about the studies covered by this guide and their measurement of physical activity:
- 1946 National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD)
- 1958 National Child Development Study (NCDS)
- 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)
- Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)
- Millennium Cohort Study (MCS)
- Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS)
- Acknowledgements and copyright information for this guide
- References for this guide
- Download the full guide as a PDF
- Electronic appendix: Index of all documented measures
This page is part of the CLOSER resource: ‘Physical activity across age and study: a guide to data in six CLOSER studies’.