The Health of Office-Based Workers in Kingston, Jamaica

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The health status of Jamaican workers was evaluated as a baseline for workplace health promotion interventions. Socio-demographic, health status, and lifestyle data were collected from 1,087 employees. Blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol levels, and body mass index were measured for study participants. The most common illness reported by the study participants was migraine headaches (16.0%), followed by hypertension (13.5%) and asthma (6.1%). Based on blood pressure measurements, 34.1% were pre-hypertensive (120-139/80-89 mmHg), 13.1% had Stage 1 hypertension (140-159/90-99 mmHg), and 2.3% Stage 2 hypertension (≥160/≥100 mmHg). Furthermore, 33% were overweight, 16.7% were obese, and 10% were extremely obese. Most (55.1%) of the study participants reported excessive fast-food consumption in the last 7 days. The high rates of obesity, hypertension, and fast-food consumption reported in this study emphasized the need for focused health promotion strategies. Universality across institutions presented an excellent opportunity for national workplace health intervention programs.

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