A recent study has revealed that people who are moderately to extremely obese have lower productivity at the work place compared to overweight or mildly obese workers.
The study led by Donna M. Gates. Ed.D., R.N., of University of Cincinnati suggest that the workers with moderate to extreme obesity had the greatest health-related limitations at work, or "presenteeism." They required more time to complete work tasks and meet physical work demands.
The team examined various aspects of productivity in a random sample of 341 manufacturing employees. Most of the workers were overweight or obese with 23 percent rate of mild obesity. About 13 percent had moderate to extreme obesity and another 43 percent were classified as overweight but not obese.
The findings revealed that the productivity of moderate or extreme obese workers averaged at 4.2 percent that was 1.8 percent higher than all other employees.
They were facing trouble in performing job tasks and completing work in the expected time that could be related to difficulty in moving because of increased body size or weight, or because of an increased pain problems due to other problems such as arthritis.
Based on an average hourly wage of 21 dollars, the annual costs of presenteeism, the days employees are at work but performing at less than full capacity, for moderately to extremely obese workers were nearly 1,800 dollars.
Employees with moderate to extreme obesity also had increased health-related absenteeism, compared with other workers.
The research suggests that obesity has a "threshold effect" on presenteeism, with moderately or extremely obese workers being significantly less productive than other workers.
The study appears in January Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).