Work, food and physical activity. a qualitative study of coping strategies among men in three occupations.
Sommaire de l'article
Life style diseases contribute heavily to inequalities in health. Thus, there is a need for a better understanding of factors affecting health-related habits, such as diet and exercise, among different groups of people. In this study, the work situation is chosen as a point of departure for analyses on health-related perceptions and habits among men from three different occupations: 20 carpenters, 15 engineers and 11 drivers in Oslo, Norway. The data were collected by in depth semi-structured interviews. There were clear differences in the way men in the three types of work view food, meals, the body and physical activity. The distribution of different types of meals throughout the day was also tied to the type of work. This was linked to notions of food as fuel for immediate body functioning, vis a vis body shape and future health. The differences observed are most likely a mixture and mutual reinforcement of demands related to the work situation as well as the socio-cultural background, level of knowledge and education. Benefits at work were also different; those in higher positions (engineers) received most healthy benefits, such as fruit baskets, healthy lunches, and participation in physical activities. These may contribute to the already large differences in health practices.