Frustrated Businessman with laptop
Frustrated Businessman with laptop

Dire state of Aussie workers’ health revealed

More than 60 per cent of Aussie workers have blood pressure levels so high they are at risk of a stroke while more than half have either "high" or "very high" levels of body fat.

The alarming findings - derived from a major health assessment of 17,000 staffers - also revealed more than 40 per cent had a body mass index that was classed as either overweight or obese.

The shocking results have sparked calls for companies to take a more active role in the wellbeing of their employees, who are not only battling the bulge but are also struggling with their mental health.

Alarming data shows 65 per cent of Australian workers have high or pre high blood pressure levels while more than 40 per cent are overweight or obese. Picture: istock
Alarming data shows 65 per cent of Australian workers have high or pre high blood pressure levels while more than 40 per cent are overweight or obese. Picture: istock


The results were recorded by workplace health check kiosks, operated by Medibank, and located across the country.

The machines test a range of health indicators including blood pressure and BMI.

High blood pressure is the most modifiable risk factor for stroke, which is one of Australia's biggest killers and a leading cause of disability.

The tests - conducted from May 2017 to July 2019 - also showed men were in far worse shape than women.

An astonishing 76 per cent of men had "high or pre-high" blood pressure, compared with 42 per cent of women.

The results showed 54 per cent were overweight or obese compared with only 28 per cent of females.

A separate poll commissioned by Medibank found 60 per cent claimed to be suffering from a mental illness while 52 per cent had either taken, or considered taking, leave because of stress.

Medibank chief customer officer David Koczkar said it was "non-negotiable" for companies to take an active role in their employees' health and wellbeing.

"The health and safety challenges businesses face today are different to those from 10 years ago," Mr Koczkar said.

"Previously it was slips, trips and falls, now companies are dealing with mental health and obesity issues."

Western Sydney University Associate Professor in sport and exercise science Jason Siegler said the results were likely a combination of inactivity, long work hours and poor diet.

"What used to be a creep is probably more of a steep incline now in terms of an unhealthy population in general," Prof Siegler said.

"It should raise a number of alarm bells. Not only does it impact the health of a number of the workforce but it's also going to impact on the economy when you talk about health care costs and increases in hospital costs."



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