Did you know that obesity decreases life expectancy by 12 years?
The effects of obesity are widely known and have a severe impact on your health, including an increased risk of developing chronic diseases, most of which are preventable through lifestyle changes! In Australia, over two-thirds of the population (approximately 15.1 million Australians) are considered to be overweight or obese and this number continues to rise. Are you just another obesity statistic?
So, what’s the link to injury risk?
There is a 20 percent increased risk of occupational injuries in obese people. In the workplace, obesity can significantly increase your risk of injury. Research has looked at how obesity can increase injury risk, finding that falls, musculoskeletal injuries and fatigue have the biggest potential to cause a workplace injury. Workplace injuries don’t only affect the victim - but also the company as a whole due to increased medical and staff costs.
Inactivity is a major factor that leads to obesity. Inactivity decreases your muscular strength, bone strength and causes an increased risk of osteoarthritis due to more forces acting upon joints. The forces created from running, squatting and climbing stairs can reach six to 10 times the body weight. For every kilo you are overweight, 3 extra kilos of pressure is placed on the knees. This creates a mismatch between physical capacity and workload, increasing your risk of injury. Physical activity on the other hand allows for quicker recovery and has the opposite effect, increasing your muscular strength, promoting bone health, mobility and flexibility. Mobility and strength are important in manual labour jobs as the energy expenditure required is higher in those types of jobs compared to office or sedentary jobs.
Keeping active is not just important for your overall health, but for optimal work performance and decreasing injury risk. To find out more about workplace health and wellbeing, contact us to see how we can help.