Three important, directly-causal, behavioral risk factors for obesity and its metabolic consequences are: food consumption, sedentary lifestyle and circadian disruption, such as social jet-lag, which should also partially explain the relevance of known, indirectly-causal, such as educational level, socio-economic status and/or type of job and its conditions. In this study we use ... [Show full abstract] actigraphy as a means to quantify and understand those differences in behaviors or conducts, related to 1) physical activity and 2) circadian disruption, which can explain observed differences in metabolic health in two different populations.
Metabolic and anthropometric data were taken from a population of university workers segmented by educational level – administrative workers (bachelor’s degree) and researchers (Masters or PhD degree) – Actigraphs collected temperature, acceleration, luxes and time in movement; participants use them for at least 1 week. Actigraphy data were divided in weekdays and weekends for analysis.
We show that body mass index and metabolic syndrome criteria were significantly worse for the lower educational level group. Correspondingly, significant differences were found between administrative personnel and researchers across all measured actigraphy parameters – activity level, acceleration, light exposure and temperature. The most relevant differences are that researchers presented significantly more/less time in high/low-activity conducts, less differences in activity level between weekdays and weekends, and less social jet-lag than administrative personnel.
Researchers have healthier habits both in terms of voluntary physical activity and less circadian disruption, showing how work environment can be an important determinant of the degree to which healthy habits can be adopted.
Educational level and work environment are relevant factors to contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome and obesity.
Administrative personnel showed worse metabolic health than Researchers, and also Administrative workers showed less healthy behaviors in actigraphy.
Differences between weekdays and weekends are a good parameter to measure social jet lag, but also for habits.
Administrative personnel presented more Social jet lag than researchers, and more differences between weekdays and weekends in activity and temperature.