Background The transition to retirement introduces a decline in total physical activity and an increase in TV viewing time. Nonetheless, as more time becomes available, early retirement is an ideal stage to implement health interventions. Therefore, knowledge on specific determinants of physical activity and sedentary time is needed. Former work-related physical activity has been proposed as a potential determinant, but concrete evidence is lacking. The aim of this study was to examine if former work-related sitting, standing, walking or vigorous activities predict physical activity and sedentary time during early retirement. Additionally, moderating effects of educational level and physical functioning were examined. Methods In total, 392 recently retired Belgian adults (>6 months, <5 years) completed the International Physical Activity Questionnaire, the SF-36 Health Survey and a questionnaire on sociodemographics and former work-related activities. Generalized linear regression analyses were conducted in R. Moderating effects were examined by adding cross-products to the models. Results More former work-related sitting was predictive of more screen time during retirement. Lower levels of former work-related vigorous activities and higher levels of former work-related walking were associated with respectively more cycling for transport and more walking for transport during retirement. None of the predictors significantly explained passive transportation, cycling and walking for recreation, and leisure-time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity during retirement. Several moderating effects were found, but the direction of the interactions was not univocal. Conclusions Former-work related behaviors are of limited importance to explain physical activity during early retirement, so future studies should focus on other individual, social and environmental determinants. Nonetheless, adults who previously had a sedentary job had higher levels of screen time during retirement, so this is an important subgroup to focus on during interventions. Because of the inconsistent moderating effects of educational level and physical functioning, no clear recommendations can be formulated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 19066552