A reduction in cardiometabolic risk is observed among employees working in companies that allow them to better manage their time and tasks.
- Employees participated in a workplace intervention that was designed to increase work-life balance.
- Older employees had significantly greater reductions in cardiometabolic risk than younger workers.
- The decrease in risk was equivalent to 5 to 10 years of age-related cardiometabolic changes.
Flexible working hours are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. This is what American researchers revealed in a new study published in the journal American Journal of Public Health. To reach this conclusion, they recruited 555 employees of a technology company and 973 employees of long-term care units (USLD). IT workers were comprised of high- and moderate-wage male and female technical workers. Those occupying a position in accommodation and care structures dedicated to people aged over 60 were mostly women with low salaries.
Increase work-life balance
As part of the work, volunteers took part in a workplace intervention, called the Work, Family and Health Network, which is intended to increase work-life balance. In detail, employers were trained to show support for employees’ personal and family lives alongside their professional performance. All teams have undergone training to identify new ways to optimize schedule and task management. The scientists also assessed participants’ cardiometabolic risk, looking at their resting blood pressure, HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin), HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and total cholesterol, height and weight (body mass index). ) and tobacco consumption.
Flexible working hours can make the heart 10 years younger
According to the results, the workplace intervention had no significant overall effect on employees’ cardiometabolic risk. However, older workers, over 45 years old, and those with a higher initial risk of cardiovascular disease saw their risk of suffering from it decrease. This reduction was equivalent to five to ten years of age-related cardiometabolic changes.
“The study illustrates how working conditions are important social determinants of health. When stressful working conditions and work-family conflict decreased, we saw a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease among employees most vulnerable, without any negative impact on their productivity. These results could be particularly important for low- and middle-wage workers who traditionally have less control over their schedules and job demands and are subject to greater inequalities health matter”, concluded Lisa Berkman, author of the research, in a statement.