The impact of physical activity on selected health risk factors and medical costs of employees working within a financial institution
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For employees to optimally perform at work, it is important that they are healthy. The employee is under constant work pressures that affects their health behaviour. The aim of this research is to look at the evident health risks of employees working within a financial institution, to analyze how physical activity influences these health risk factors and their medical costs. In this study a sample of 9860 self selected employees, aged between 18 and 64 (35.3 ± 10.7 years), was used. These employees are spread over all the provinces of South Africa and from all racial groupings. Differentiation was made between employees who were on chronic medication and those who were not. The Health Risk Assessment (HRA) questionnaire developed and provided by the medical aid of the institution was used as the analysis tool. Medical expenditures of the sample group were also provided by the medical aid and investigated. A national network of registered Biokineticists administered the implementation of the HRA, based on a set protocol. ANOVA was used for statistical data analysis - providing descriptive and summarising statistics. One-way analysis of variance was used to determine relationships between variables. It is clear from the descriptive data that the tendencies of selected health risks were high. The results also show that 37.6% (Diastolic) and 47.87% (Systolic) of the sample group comply with the normal borders of blood pressure. With regards to BM3, 32.3% were overweight and 25.3% within the boundaries of obesity. The average cholesterol of the group is 4.4mmol.L-l. The Physical activity levels were determined using an activity algorithm developed by the medical aid of the institution (described in detail in the thesis). Results show a low level of physical activity index (7.18 + 3.05) within the sample group. No statistical significance could be found between physical activity levels and medical expenditure, although those who are highly active seemed to have higher expenditure than those who are inactive.
- ETD@PUK