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OBJECTIVES: To assess physical activity at work of hospital employees in order to identify association between physical activity at work and risks for cardiovascular diseases
MATERIAL AND METHODS: From 3,383 employees of a private hospital in Thailand in 2017, 12 percent were randomly selected based on a ten percent sample size with two percent compensation to represent eight strata of job types. After screening and exclusion, 301 subjects remained in the study. Each subject was asked to fill in the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) and was assessed for body fat composition using an Inbody Bio-electric Impedance Analysis (BIA) R20 model at the initiation. Each subject was equipped with an activity tracker device “Feelfit” for five days during work hours to estimate Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) and MET minutes per person per work week. Relevant laboratory data were extracted from annual health checkup database for the assessment of cardiovascular risk factors. Statistical analysis was conducted using STATA version 15.
RESULT: The majority (85.4%) of 301 subjects were female and a little more than half (53.5%) were older than 35 years. Data from Feelfit showed 257/301 (85.4%) employees had sufficient (i.e. 600 or more MET minutes per week) physical activity (PA) at work. Operational or clinical employees were 9.8 times more likely to have adequate PA (OR 9.8, 95%CI 4.3 to 22.4). Associations between adequate PA and Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference were in a different direction. Subjects with high BMI (>23 Kg/sq.m.) were more likely to have adequate PA at work (OR 3.3, 95%CI 1.0, 10.5), while those with abnormal waist circumference were less likely to have adequate PA at work (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.2, 2.5). Around one-third of our subjects had “normal BMI obesity”, i.e. 54 (34.6%) of 156 normal BMI subjects had high body fat composition. Laboratory findings were inconclusive to demonstrate association with adequate PA.
CONCLUSION: Although most hospital employees had adequate physical activity at work, one-third of subjects still had high fat composition regardless of normal BMI. Back office subjects were almost ten times less likely to have sufficient PA at work, suggesting urgent interventions for them. Relationship between impulsivity and PA was inconclusive, suggesting a larger study with greater sample size.
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