Objective To determine whether overweight and obesity and age are associated with a higher risk of accidents at work and occupational disease.
Background Data During recent years, professional contingencies have been increasing at work, a change that coincides with a higher prevalence of obesity and older work population.
Methods This cross-sectional study was carried out among 1489 workers in healthcare industry. This study identified the prevalence of obesity and overweight in a hospital and its associations with occupational diseases and accidents at work over a 4 years‘ period. With and without absences from work and the length of the absences were recorded. Body mass index (BMI) and demographic details were recorded.
Results At baseline, 48,3% had normal-weight (BMI [body mass index]: 18.5–24.99 kg/m 2), 34,3% were overweight (BMI: 25–29.99 kg/m 2), 14,8% were obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m 2), and 2,6% were underweight (BMI <18.5 kg/m 2). During the 4 years‘ period, with a mean of 46 years, 263 participants were diagnosed with a professional contingency (accident at work or occupational disease). Compared with normal-weight individuals, there was no statistically significant difference having an occupational contingency between overweight and obese workers (p-value 0,161). Although, we found that the age is a risk factor of having an accident at work.
Conclusion Obese and overweight persons are not at a higher risk of developing an occupational contingency. Furthermore, our results indicate that the age might be a novel explanation for the increased number of workers with accidents at work.
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