Activity and tobacco smoking on labor market outcomes in South Africa

Type Journal Article - Economies
Title Activity and tobacco smoking on labor market outcomes in South Africa
Volume 12
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2023
(1) Background: Labor market outcomes can be directly or indirectly influenced by the health behavior patterns of the labor force. This study assesses the association between patterns of physical activity and smoking behavior maintenance (and their transitions) and the labor market outcomes of employment participation and formal employment participation. (2) Methods: The sample evaluated in this study comprises adult individuals aged 18 and above from wave 5 of the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) survey. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, a chi-square test, and bivariate probit regression techniques. (3) Results: The bivariate probit regression results regarding the impact of health behavior transition and maintenance patterns on labor market outcomes show that transitioning to physically active behavior or maintaining physically active behavior increases the likelihood of participating in the labor market and being employed in the formal sector compared to those ceasing to be physically active over time. Surprisingly, both the maintenance and uptake of smoking behavior increases the probability of the occurrence of both labor market outcome variables. (4) Conclusions: These findings have both explicit and implicit implications that can serve to increase labor force participation probability and to promote healthy behavior. There is a need for community-wide campaigns via promotions and media coverage to promote active physical activity among the labor force group. Also, interventions to support individuals who lack extensive social networks is necessary. The results further highlight the importance of education, rural economic development, and good health status for desirable labor market outcomes.

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