Is your sitting job making you fat? You’ve higher heart disease risk than others

You’ve got to be worried if your sitting job is adding extra weight to your body, say researchers.

Obese workers in the average age group of 41 years take more sick leaves and are more likely than others to have a fatal cardiovascular disease in the next ten years, claims 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 M’laga, Spain and Dr Eva Calvo-Bonacho.

The study was conducted on 1,74,329 healthy workers, who were classified by body mass index (BMI in kg/m2) and metabolically healthy/unhealthy.

In the research, presented at a meeting of the EuroPrevent 2017.1 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% were men and 49% did manual work. The results suggest that proportions with overweight, obesity and metabolically unhealthy phenotype were 38%, 16% and 10% 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% more likely to take sick leave and metabolically unhealthy overweight/obese people were 71% 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.