Changes in Work Environment Can Cut Cardiometabolic Risk

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

Findings seen for interventions in the information technology and long-term care sectors that reduce work-family conflict

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Increasing workplace flexibility is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in the American Journal of Public Health.

Lisa F. Berkman, Ph.D., from the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues examined whether workplace interventions to increase workplace flexibility and supervisor support and decrease work–family conflict can reduce cardiometabolic risk. The analysis included employees from information technology (555 employees) and long-term care (973 employees) industries in the United States who were randomly assigned to the Work, Family, and Health Network intervention or usual practice (2009 to 2013).

The researchers observed no significant main effect on the cardiometabolic risk score (CRS) associated with the intervention in either industry. However, among participants in both industries with a higher baseline risk score, the intervention had significant improvements in cardiometabolic risk at the 12-month follow-up. Intervention effects were moderated by age, with older employees having significantly larger reductions in CRS at 12 months than younger employees.

“The intervention benefited employee health by reducing CRS equivalent to five to 10 years of age-related changes for those with a higher baseline CRS and for older employees,” the authors write. 

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