More than half of Belgian workers overweight and inactive
A major survey has raised alarming concerns about the health of Belgian workers. The report by IDEWE, the external service for prevention and protection at work, shows that 58 per cent struggle with obesity and 25 per cent have high blood pressure
Based on a survey of 238,728 Belgian employees in 2021, the report also reveals that only 30 per cent of respondents say they get more than 150 minutes of physical activity per week, the minimum recommended by the WHO for good health. IDEWE points out that physical activity at work does not have the same beneficial effects as physical activity during leisure time.
"Repeatedly performing the same movements without sufficient recovery during work can even damage the cardiovascular system or cause injury from overuse," the report says. IDEWE advises both active and sedentary workers to engage in physical activity during breaks or after work.
Given these trends, which are risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well as potential absenteeism and loss of productivity, IDEWE makes recommendations for employers to improve their employees' health. These include holding walking meetings, encouraging staff to cycle to work and investing in adjustable desks and ergonomic balls to replace traditional office chairs.
Employers can also encourage healthy habits in the office by providing fruit or soup, or organising after-work activities.
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