Panaji, Jan 20 : Nearly 31 per cent of the IT sector workforce in Goa suffers from hypertension whereas more than 40 per cent are either overweight or obese, a cross-sectional study of IT professionals working in the coastal state has revealed.
“A majority of the 118 surveyed employees — 63 (53.4 per cent) — had normal range body mass index, seven (5.9 per cent ) were underweight, 40 (33.9 per cent) overweight, six (5.1 per cent) class I obesity and two (1.7 per cent ) class II obesity,” the study by Preksha P Vernekar, Kalyani and Jagadish A Cacodcar said.
“Thirty seven (31.4 per cent) had hypertension, 50 (42.4 per cent) suffered from pre-hypertension… 13 (11.2 per cent) had diabetes mellitus and three (2.5 per cent) blood sugar in pre-diabetic range,” the study noted.
“A significant prevalence of lifestyle diseases is noticed among the participants in the study. Lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidaemia and overweight/obesity are major risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease,” as per the study published in the Epidemiology International journal.
Considerable pre-hypertension cases raised concern over possible cardiovascular morbidities along with complications in due course of time, the research paper’s authors pointed out.
The study data was collected from health records of 118 IT professionals working in four top Information Technology firms in Goa, whose government is pitching the coastal state as a destination for IT start-ups.
The study authors, all medical professionals working at the state’s top government-run medical facility, also underlined the need for periodic health checkups to ensure timely detection and early management of health problems.
“The companies should have mandatory periodic health check-ups of their employees, preferably at their health centres, to gain better insight into their general health status.
“Pre-placement examination of employees is must to know their working capacity so as to ensure ergonomics as well as to procure first-hand knowledge on health problems workers may be suffering from before employment,” the study recommended.
The study suggested the introduction of stress-busting modules in the IT work space to ensure better physical and mental health of staff, which ensured better performance by the workforce.
“Health education on diet, physical activity and relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation can be imparted to employees. These steps will finally improve their performance and in turn lead to decreased incidence of morbidities, absenteeism due to sickness and job stress, thereby leading to optimum work output,” the study said.