HYDERABAD: A recent research conducted by The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) focused on Information Technology workplaces in Hyderabad revealed worrisome health and lifestyle patterns among employees. The findings indicated that approximately half of the participants were identified with Metabolic Syndrome (MetS), a condition associated with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular ailments.
The study has been published in the August issue of the international peer-reviewed journal ‘Nutrients.’ It reveals that as many as 183 IT employees working in small to large companies are more or less 30 years old. Accepting that the study has a limited sample size the researchers pointed out the presence of MetS in nearly one-third of the participants.
A recent study at an IT hub in Hyderabad found that nearly 46 per cent of participants have at least three or four health issues due to factors like high waist circumference, low HDL cholesterol and low biomarker levels.
The study also reported that the average sitting time of these employees is more than eight hours on a working day and only 22 per cent of employees reached the recommended intentional physical activity of at least 150 minutes per week.
Dr SubbaRao M Gavaravarapu, Scientist F and the lead investigator of the study said that employees have a risky diet which includes not eating fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, skipping meals and frequently eating outside.
“Stress is high among the senior employees above 30 years and a significant proportion of them have MetS. However, the lifestyle risk factors associated with NCDs were seen even among young employees of less than 30 years of age”, he said
Director of ICMR-NIN, Dr Hemalatha R, pointed out that prolonged exposure to these risk factors triggers chronic, low-level inflammation and hence the employees become more susceptible to MetS and NCDs.
The researchers also underscored the necessity for targeted nutrition-based Workplace Wellness Programmes.
The study team set out to design and evaluate a flexible, multi-component, strategic model of nutrition-based Workplace Intervention as a preventive and promotive approach to tackle the rising concern of NCDs.