The Impact of Obesity in the Workplace: a Review of Contributing Factors, Consequences and Potential Solutions
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This narrative review summarized findings from previous reviews and the most recently published studies, regarding the following: (1) the association between two occupational risk factors-shift work and sedentary work-and obesity, (2) the effects of obesity on workplace productivity and (3) the effectiveness of workplace interventions aimed at preventing or reducing obesity. Despite some inconsistencies in findings, there is convincing evidence that shift work increases the risk of obesity, while most studies did not show a significant association between sedentary work and obesity. Overweight and obesity were found to be associated with absenteeism, disability pension and overall work impairment, whilst evidence of their relationship with presenteeism, unemployment and early retirement was not consistent. Due to the vast heterogeneity in the types of workplace-based interventions to prevent or treat obesity, no sound conclusions can as yet be drawn about their overall effectiveness and best practice recommendations for their implementation.
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