A1 Journal article (refereed)
Childhood physical activity as a labor market investment (2021)

Kari, J. T., Pehkonen, J., Tammelin, T. H., Hutri‐Kähönen, N., & Raitakari. Olli, T. (2021). Childhood physical activity as a labor market investment. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 31(1), 163-183. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13829

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kari, Jaana T.; Pehkonen, Jaakko; Tammelin, Tuija H.; Hutri‐Kähönen, Nina; Raitakari. Olli, T.

Journal or series: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports

ISSN: 0905-7188

eISSN: 1600-0838

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 23/09/2020

Volume: 31

Issue number: 1

Pages range: 163-183

Publisher: Wiley

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13829

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/71865


This study examined the role of physical activity and changes in physical activity levels during childhood in long‐term labor market outcomes. To address this important but under‐researched theme, the study utilized data drawn from longitudinal research, the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study (YFS), and from registries compiled by Statistics Finland. The study consisted of children aged 9 (n=1565) and 15 (n=2445) at the time their physical activity was measured. Labor market outcomes, including employment status, average employment months, and average unemployment months, were calculated from 1997 to 2010, when the participants were aged 20 to 48 years. Regression models were used to assess the relationship between physical activity and labor market outcomes. The results show that the consequences of childhood physical activity may be far‐reaching, as higher childhood physical activity was positively related to the probability of being employed and employment months and was negatively related to unemployment months. On average, a one‐unit increase in physical activity index was related to a 1% higher probability of being employed, 0.10 more months of yearly employment, and 0.05 fewer months of yearly unemployment. The results also imply that persistently active individuals had the highest level of employment and the lowest level of unemployment compared with other activity groups. In conclusion, investments in childhood physical activity may not only promote health and well‐being but may also correlate with better labor market outcomes later in life, providing both personal and societal benefits.

Keywords: physical activity; physical training; childhood; labour status; access to employment; unemployment; follow-up study; longitudinal research

Free keywords: physical activity; employment; unemployment; register-based data

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:40