The health paradox of physically demanding work: What is it and should we be concerned?

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EDT


Aviroop Biswas
Institute for Work & Health

Emerging research describes a physical activity paradox, in which physically demanding work characterized by heavy lifting, repetitive exertion and awkward body postures can increase a worker’s risk of cardiovascular conditions and mortality. This stands in contrast to the well-known health benefits associated with regular physical activity in leisure time. 

In this IWH Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Biswas shares what researchers have learned so far about the potential risks of physical labour on heart and other chronic diseases. He discusses how engaging in physically demanding work can influence exercise habits outside of work. He also shares findings from his own research  on the combined effects of physical activity, at work and off work, on the risks of diabetes among a sample of Ontario workers.

About presenter

Dr. Aviroop Biswas is an associate scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. He is also an assistant professor in social and behavioural health sciences at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health. His research includes population-based approaches to understanding the role of work on the etiology of health behaviours and non-communicable disease, studies informing strategies to promote the health, safety and well-being of the workforce, and sex/gender differences in occupational health exposures and related health outcomes.

About IWH Speaker Series

The IWH Speaker Series brings you the latest findings from work and health researchers from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and beyond. For those unable to attend, the recorded webinar of most presentations in the IWH Speaker Series are made available on its web page within a week of the event.