Physical Activity Behaviour in 50- to 74-Year-Olds: Differences between Employed and Retired Individuals

Karl Spiteri, John Xerri de Caro, Kathleen England, Neville Calleja, Lee Smith, Kate Grafton, David Broom

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    (1) Objectives: The study aimed to examine data from Malta’s Health Interview Survey (HIS) to assess differences between persons in employment and those retired, across different time periods. (2) Methods: A repeat cross-sectional design was adopted. Data that were collected over a period of 12 years included three cross-sectional HIS waves (2002, 2008 and 2014). Data were analysed cross-sectionally and longitudinally using multilevel analysis. (3) Results: In total, 4690 participants between the ages of 50 and 74 years provided data on physical activity (PA). A statistical difference was found between those employed and retired, with the latter undertaking less PA MET min per week in 2002 and 2008. There was no difference in 2014. When adjusting for covariates, people in employment carried out less PA MET min per week (OR-0.16–−0.02) compared to retired individuals. Using multilevel modelling, this study shows that individual factors such BMI and long-standing illness are predictors of PA behaviour as opposed to time trends. (4) Conclusion: Retirement can increase PA measured in MET minutes per week. Individual factors such as BMI, long-standing health problems and self-rated health could be causing the higher levels seen in the employed population during the studied period
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)11-23
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of ageing and longevity
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited


    • physical activity
    • public health
    • aging
    • retirement


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