Fisieke aktiwiteit-, leefstyl- en koronêre risiko-indeks van werknemers aan 'n elektrisiteitsvoorsieningsmaatskappy in Suid-Afrika
Grové, Hendrina Johanna
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Physical inactivity is identified as one of the major risk factors for the development of coronary heart diseases. It has been well documented in research literature that regular engagement in physical activity and healthy lifestyle habits has a positive influence on the risk of developing coronary heart diseases. Research literature reveals that these diseases have a negative influence on the productivity of the employee. In the light of the above mentioned, the fact has become clear that the health of the employee is of major concern to the employer. Healthy employees mean better productivity and better financial benefits for the company. The aim of this research is therefore to determine the physical activity, lifestyle and coronary index profiles of employees working at an electricity supply company in South Africa. Furthermore the aim is to determine the influence of physical activity and lifestyle on the coronary health of the same population. A total of one hundred and seventy nine (N=179) voluntary subjects between the ages of 26 and 65 years (46.1 ± 9.5), who were part of a non-random availability population, took part in the study. Data was collected by means of questionnaires. The Physical Activity Index questionnaire of Sharkey and Gaskill (2007) was used to collect data on the physical activity of respondents, the Lifestyle Index questionnaire of Belloc and Breslow (1972) was used to determine the lifestyle practises of the respondents and the Coronary Risk Index of Bjiirstrom en Alexiou (1978) was used to determine the coronary risk index of the respondents. The physical activity index profile of the respondents was classified as average (25.6 ± 35.6), as was the case with their lifestyle index profile (4.5 ± 1.3) and coronary risk index profile (25.5 ± 7.5). In spite of these findings, it was found that the majority of respondents in fact led a sedentary life (58.1%). That means that the respondents have an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. The results further showed that age, exercise, gender and stress was identified as the major contributors to increased risk of developing coronary heart diseases. The fact emerged that the majority of respondents were unaware of their cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressure status. These findings are problematic, for it is well documented in research literature that these three factors are major contributors to the development of coronary heart disease. In terms of the influence of physical activity and lifestyle on coronary health, a statistic meaningful (p < 0.05) difference was found in terms of physical activity and lifestyle habits on the coronary health of the employees. Wellness programs that are implemented by companies are of great value. These programs give the workers the opportunity to take responsibility for their health and provide them with the necessary tools to manage their health on optimal levels. Companies that succeed in motivating their staff to engage in these wellness programs, can empower their staff to care for their own health. This means less risk of developing coronary heart diseases, increased productivity and decreased absenteeism, sick leave and medical costs.
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