Be on guard, if you have a sitting job. Obese workers tend to take a higher number of sick leaves. The probability of them suffering from fatal cardiovascular disease in the next ten years is high, reveals a new study.
"Overall, the working population is supposed to be young and healthy but we have found a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, like tobacco consumption, hypertension, or dyslipidaemia," said study investigator Dr Miguel-Angel Sanchez-Chaparro from the University of Malaga, Spain and Dr Eva Calvo-Bonacho.
"About six percent of Spanish workers are at high cardiovascular risk, i.e. their likelihood of suffering a fatal cardiovascular event during the next ten years is five percent or greater, and they take excess sick leave," they added.
In Spain, the participants were classified as metabolically unhealthy if they had three or more of the following criteria high waist circumference; raised triglycerides or receiving treatment for hyperlipidaemia; low HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol; high blood pressure or previous diagnosis of hypertension or receiving treatment for hypertension; or high fasting glucose or receiving treatment for diabetes.
In the study, 67 percent were men and 49 percent did manual work. The results suggest that proportions with overweight, obesity and metabolically unhealthy phenotype were 38 percent, 16 percent and 10 percent respectively. They found a consistent association of overweight and obesity with sickness absence due to non-work-related illnesses in both metabolically healthy and unhealthy workers.
Metabolically healthy overweight/obese people were 37 percent more likely to take sick leave and metabolically unhealthy overweight/obese people were 71 percent more likely to take sick leave than the people who were not overweight/obese.
"Our results show that overweight and obese workers are more likely to take sick leave for non-work-related illnesses, regardless of whether they are metabolically healthy or unhealthy," the researchers explained.