, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 347-354
Date: 10 May 2012

Addressing the Cardiometabolic Risk of Working in Physically Demanding Occupations

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Abstract

Habitual physical activity participation is widely accepted to be a safe and effective method for managing cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk factors. However, engagement in physical activity has the potential to trigger cardiovascular events, especially when the activity is of vigorous intensity and the participant is unfit or has pre-existing cardiometabolic conditions. Occupational physical activity is a population-specific stressor, and there is a clustering of risk factors which predispose to cardiometabolic conditions amongst “blue-collar” workers. These factors centre on physical work demands relative to worker physical fitness, conditions of the working environment (shift work, temperature, noise pollution, air pollution and the nature of the activity) and socioeconomic status-related worker lifestyle. We conclude that the risk of cardiometabolic disease and associated cardiovascular events occurring in physically demanding occupations is dictated by the interaction of numerous factors, many of which are modifiable through habitual physical activity participation.