How do chronic disease risk factors vary across Australian industries: implications for "Healthy Worker" initiatives

Alexis St. George*, Josephine Chau, Tien Chey, Lesley King, Adrian Bauman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Workplaces are a focus of the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health. This study describes the distribution and patterns of risk factors targeted by the "Healthy Worker" initiatives in Australian workers by industry. Analysis of smoking, alcohol intake, fruit and vegetable intake, occupational activity level and non-occupational physical activity (leisure time and transport) and body mass index was undertaken for 10,840 workers using National Health Survey (2007-08) data. Multiple logistic regression was used to investigate the likelihood of being overweight or obese by industry. Workers in the "Production" and "Service" industry sectors had the highest prevalence of risk behaviours while the prevalence of overweight and obesity was highest in the "Government and Community" industry sector. This sector also had the highest proportion of workers aged 35-55 years (the target of "Healthy Worker" initiatives). Industry was associated with overweight and obesity in males but not in females. Males in the "Government and Community" sector were more likely to be overweight or obese compared to those in the service sector. Examining risk factors by industry grouping is a useful way for determining priority workplace target groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129
Pages (from-to)147-165
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Health, Safety and Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Planning
  • Risk factors
  • Target groups
  • Workers
  • Workplace health


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