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OBJECTIVE - To characterize factors associated with physical inactivity among employees with access to workplace wellness program.
METHODS - We examined data on physical inactivity, defined as exercise less than once a week, from the 2010 health risk assessment completed by employees at a major academic institution (N = 16,976).
RESULTS - Among employees, 18% of individuals reported physical activity less than once a week. Individuals who were physically inactive as compared with physically active reported higher prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.36 [1.23 to 1.51]), fair or poor health status (AOR, 3.52 [2.97 to 4.17]), and absenteeism from work (AOR, 1.59 [1.41 to 1.79]). Overall, physically inactive employees as compared with physically active employees reported more interest in health education programs.
CONCLUSION - Future research is needed to address barriers to physical inactivity to improve employee wellness and potentially lower health utility costs.
Adolescents may engage in health risk behaviors that increase their likelihood of injury. Employment places adolescents at risk of work-related injuries. This study responds to the paucity of data on the relationship between adolescent health risk behaviors and work-related injury. This cross-sectional study included the administration of anonymous surveys to ninth graders (n=4914) who attended high schools in south Texas. An aggregate risk score (ARS) was developed based on health risk behaviors. The ARS was analyzed as an outcome using linear regression. Associations between health risk behaviors and work-related injury were assessed with logistic regression. Of the respondents, 19% reported they had a job, and 14% reported that they had been employed in farmwork. Farmwork-related injury was reported by 9% of adolescents, and 12% reported other work-related injury. Mean ARS scores were significantly higher (p < 0.05) for both male and female adolescents who reported a work-related injury compared to nonworking adolescents, and for males who had done migrant farmwork compared to all other adolescent males. The ARS increased as hours worked per week increased. After controlling for confounding factors, a statistically significant association was found between ARS and non-farmwork, work-related injury, but not between ARS and farmwork-related injury. Farmworkers with high ARS were more likely to report non-farmwork, work-related injuries. The predictors of work-related injury in the adolescent groups, particularly for farmworkers and migrants who are under additional stress, remain an important occupational health area to be addressed.
STUDY OBJECTIVE - Our objective was to assess the prevalence of cardiac risk factors in a sample of urban paramedics and emergency department (ED) nurses.
METHODS - We asked 175 paramedics and ED nurses working at a busy, urban ED to complete a cardiovascular risk assessment. The survey asked subjects to report smoking history, diet, exercise habits, weight, stress levels, medication use, history of hypertension or cardiac disease, family history of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cholesterol level (if known).
RESULTS - 129 of 175 surveys were returned (74% return rate) by 85 paramedics and 44 nurses. The percentages of paramedics and nurses at high or very high risk for cardiac disease were 48% and 41%, respectively. Forty-one percent of female respondents and 46% of male respondents were at high or very high risk. Cigarette smoking was reported in 19% of the paramedics and 14% of the nurses. The percentages of paramedics and nurses who reported hypertension were 13% and 11%, respectively. High cholesterol was reported in 31% of paramedics and 16% of nurses.
CONCLUSIONS - Forty-eight percent of paramedics and 41% of ED nurses at this center are at high or very high risk for cardiovascular disease, by self-report. Efforts should be made to better educate and intervene in this population of health-care providers in order to reduce their cardiac risk.
Over the last two decades, theory and practice in the field of program evaluation have generated a rich array of concepts and methods for research on the effectiveness of social programs. This paper attempts to summarize the lessons from program evaluation research that might usefully inform intervention research in occupational health and safety.