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September 27, 2010

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Two thirds of male workers overweight, says study

New data paints an alarming picture of the state of UK workers’ health, suggesting that more than 10 million male workers fall into the ‘overweight or obese’ category.

The study by health and well-being business, Water Wellpoint, comprised information gathered from health checks voluntarily undertaken by nearly 9000 employees around the UK during 2009.

The analysis of the results suggests that more than two thirds of male workers are overweight or obese, according to their body-mass index (BMI), with a third showing signs of high blood pressure.

Female workers don’t fare much better – 44 per cent of women checked out had a higher BMI than recommended, and about 20 per cent had high blood pressure.

Dehydration was also evident among many of the volunteers. Almost three in five men and one in two women showed a fluid intake lower than European Food Safety Agency guidelines.

As well as highlighting the potential costs to employers of sickness absence associated with poor health among staff, and associated cost pressures on the NHS, Rory Murphy of Water Wellpoint underlined how being overweight can be potentially linked to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

He went on to suggest ways that employers could help workers take better care of their own health and well-being.

Said Murphy: “Tackling blood pressure in the workplace is one of the most simple and cost-effective means of cardiovascular disease prevention, as it can alert the individual to any potential problems, or, indeed, identify a healthy blood pressure, which can be supported and maintained by occupational-health professionals in the workplace.

“Tackling weight issues is, of course, another area that employers can help employees to address, with programmes that can become integral to health and well-being in the workplace.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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13 years ago

Some people are “overweight” are they?
So what? Again, we seem to be adopting an “agenda” spun by the health fanatics.
Sure people can exercise or lose weight if they choose, but how is this a Health & Safety issue? It is a personal issue.
Seems more like PC Nanny statism to me.
Cannot we worry about persons not having the ability to understand REAL health and safety issues as our magazines begin to be “dumbed down” as society progressively has been since 1997??