This study aimed to explore gender differences among sedentary occupation workers with regard to their quality of life (QoL), physical activity, and risk for high blood pressure, and to identify factors associated with QoL.
A convenience sample of 2562 employees from randomly selected ten ministries in Kuwait completed self-administered questionnaires. Collected data included employees’ socio-demographic characteristics, levels of QoL (using World Health Organization QoL-Brief tool), and physical activity (using the New Zealand Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form), and anthropometric measures of weight, height, and blood pressure. Multinomial regression analysis, Chi-square, ANOVA, and student’s t tests were implemented. A p value of 0.05 was considered significant.
Participants’ mean age was 35.3 years. QoL mean scores were total QoL (74.7), physical health (81.1), psychological health (75.4), social relationship (71.1), and environment (70.8). Females showed worse level of QoL, better physical activity, and higher prevalence of hypertension relative to males. Multinomial regression analysis revealed that female gender, low educational attainability, poor income, high job ranks, shorter working years, obesity, physical inactivity, hypertension, or having at least one chronic illness significantly correlated to fair and poor QoL.
Sedentary occupation workers reported modest level of QoL and were at high risk of hypertension. Socio-demographic factors, physical activity, and health status were correlated to QoL. Gender differences existed in QoL, physical activity, and risk of hypertension. Improving employees’ QoL through adopting strategies to promote healthy lifestyle in work settings should be activated. Further studies are recommended to explore cultural factors that drive gender differences in QoL.