(HealthDay News) — High levels of occupational physical activity in men are associated with an increased risk of early mortality, according to a review published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Pieter Coenen, PhD, from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of prospective studies assessing the association of occupational physical activity with all-cause mortality.

Based on 17 studies with 193,696 participants, the researchers found that men with high-level occupational physical activity had an 18% increased risk of early mortality vs those engaging in low-level occupational physical activity (hazard ratio, 1.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.34). Among women, there was a trend toward an inverse association between occupational physical activity and early mortality (hazard ratio, 0.9; 95% confidence interval, 0.8 to 1.01).

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“The results of this review indicate detrimental health consequences associated with high-level occupational physical activity in men, even when adjusting for relevant factors (such as leisure time physical activity),” the authors write. “These findings suggest that research and physical activity guidelines may differentiate between occupational and leisure time physical activity.”

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Coenen P, Huysmans MA, Holtermann A, et al. Do highly physically active workers die early? A systematic review with meta-analysis of data from 193 696 participants. BMJ. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098540