Occupational health is the area concerned with looking after the health of workers. The health, safety and welfare of employees are taken into consideration. This assists in enhancing overall productivity.
The main goal of occupational health is to provide a safe, secure and healthy work environment to the employees.
Sedentary behavior can lead to a variety of health ailments. We regard ourselves as active while being involved in our desk jobs. After spending most of our time in office doing sedentary work, we then return home just to spend the remaining time either in front of a PC or in comfortable armchair.
Similar lifestyle is adopted by people having online jobs and working from home. They unknowingly adopt poor sitting postures. Unfortunately, once the damage is done, it is very difficult to undo.
Some of the common ill-effects of sedentary behavior are heart diseases, diabetes, obesity and even cancers.
The physiological repercussions of sedentary lifestyle have adverse impact on our lives and are being slowly unraveled.
Lisanne Verwejj and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial that was published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2012, regarding the application of occupational health guidelines in lowering sedentary behavior and increasing fruit intake while at work.
For the purpose of trial, guidelines-based care and usual care was compared among 16 occupational physicians and 523 employees in Netherlands during 2009 and 2011.
The employees were asked to answer a questionnaire and their physical measurements were taken at the beginning of the trial and after a period six months.
The study included two types of groups - intervention groups which underwent the guidelines-based care, and the control group that underwent usual care. Each occupational physician was given charge of some participants of the study.
The physicians in the intervention group adopted guidelines on how to improve the obesogenic work environment and performed five face-to-face counseling sessions for behavioral changes.
Sedentary behavior was noted at work and fruit intake was reviewed with validated Short Fruit and Vegetable questionnaire. The study mentioned, "Fruit intake was related to the public health recommendation of consuming two or more pieces of fruit per day."
The intervention revealed remarkable effects on fruit intake and sedentary behavior on weekdays in participants who underwent the guidelines-based care. As far as physical activity, snack intake and sedentary behavior at weekend days or in leisure time were concerned, no significant effects were noticed.
It was observed that the guideline-based care improvised the employees' sedentary behavior at work and enhanced their fruit consumption but had no significant impact on their snack intake, body weight-related results or physical activity.
The Application of an Occupational Health Guideline Reduces Sedentary Behaviour and Increases Fruit Intake at Work; Lisanne Verwejj et al; Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2012.