Exploring how daily patterns of sleep and activity affect the risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality among Canadian workers

Reasons for the study

Across a 24-hour day, how much time is spent being active, sleeping, or sedentary—and when—can affect health outcomes. This research sets out to understand how daily activity patterns–including time spent doing physical activity of varying levels of intensity—are associated with risks of heart disease and early death. This is important to understand, as existing public health messages promoting 150 minutes of exercise a week may not be feasible for many workers, particularly those with physically and/or psychologically demanding work. This research will also identify the effects of changing the duration of sleep and activity on health outcomes of workers in physically and psychologically demanding occupations, and provide recommendations for optimal health.

Objectives of the study

  • To examine how 24-hour patterns of movement and activity are associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality risk in workers and in the general population, with a focus on differences due to physically and psychologically demanding work exposures.
  • Reproduce previous work that identified different patterns of activity in the Canadian worker population and compare exposure-outcome relationships with the 24-hour time reallocation approach.

Target audience

The results of this study will help organizations identify and support physical movement strategies to achieve optimal worker health.

Related studies

Project status


Research team

  • Aviroop Biswas, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • David Alter , KITE Research Institute, University Health Network (UHN)
  • Victoria Landsman, Institute for Work & Health
  • Stephanie Prince Ware, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Faraz Vahid Shahidi, Institute for Work & Health
  • Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

Collaborators and partners

ParticipACTION, Canadian Society for Exercise Physiologists, EWI Works, Atlantic Canada Regional Council of Carpenters, Millwrights and Allied Workers.

Funded by

Canadian Institutes of Health Research