Latest News » Study: Obesity can weigh you down in the workplace

Obesity can diminish your overall performance at work.

Obesity can diminish your overall performance at work.

Obesity doesn't just pose significant health hazards, but can also slow you down at work, according to a new study.

Researchers examined 32 workers in the manufacturing sector, comparing and contrasting the endurance times, comfort levels and overall job performance between 16 obese employees and 16 of normal weight. The team concluded that those suffering from obesity exhibited a 60 percent drop in endurance, as well as weaker physical strength and higher degrees of discomfort at work. This would suggest, according to the study's authors, that the modern workplace is simply not built to accommodate workers with a larger waistline.

"We have been relying on models that have been around 40 to 50 years, based on normal population, and they don't take obesity-related requirements into account," lead author Lora Cavuoto, an assistant professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, said in an official statement. "The differences in endurance that we found were significant because we use endurance a lot in defining work and determining how much rest people will need."

As Cavuoto notes, the study does not prove whether impaired physical movement (including a lack of exercise) determines obesity, or vice versa. But it does, at least, demonstrate that there is a link between the two, regardless of causation.

Over the past 30 years, obesity rates have more than doubled, with over 1.5 billion adults around the world officially designated as overweight.

Of course, obesity is more than just a hindrance at the workplace. It also significantly raises the risk for health problems including heart disease, stroke and overall mortality.

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