Attaching metabolic expenditures to standard occupational classification systems: perspectives from time-use research

Jef Deyaert, T. Harms, Djiwo Weenas, J. Gershuny, Ignace Glorieux

Onderzoeksoutput: Article

12 Citaten (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


Traditionally, time-use data have been used to inform a broad range of economic and sociological research topics. One of the new areas in time-use research is the study of physical activity (PA) and physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE). Time-use data can be used to study PAEE by assigning MET values to daily activities using the Ainsworth Compendium of Physical Activities. Although most diarists record their daily activities accurately and in detail, they are only required to record their paid working hours, not the job-specific tasks they undertake. This makes it difficult to assign MET values to paid work episodes.

In this methodological paper, we explain how we addressed this problem by using the detailed information about respondents’ occupational status included in time-use survey household and individual questionnaires. We used the 2008 ISCO manual, a lexicon of the International Labour Organization of occupational titles and their related job-specific tasks. We first assigned a MET value to job-specific tasks using the Ainsworth compendium (2011) then calculated MET values for each of the 436 occupations in the ISCO-08 manual by averaging all job-specific MET values for each occupation.

The ISCO-08 Major Groups of ‘elementary occupations’ and ‘craft and related trades workers’ are associated with high PAEE variation in terms of their job-specific MET values and together represented 21.6% of the Belgian working population in 2013. We recommend that these occupational categories should be prioritised for further in-depth research into occupational activity (OA).

We developed a clear and replicable procedure to calculate occupational activity for all ISCO-08 occupations. All of our calculations are attached to this manuscript which other researchers may use, replicate and refine.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftBMC Public Health
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - 3 jul 2017


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