There is increasing evidence that obesity and being overweight may be related, in part, to poor working conditions, according to a report on safetyinfo.com.

In particular, the risk of obesity may increase in high-demand, low-control work environments, and for those who work long hours. In addition, obesity may modify the risk for vibration-induced injury and certain occupational musculoskeletal disorders.

These are some key findings by NIOSH scientists in a recent article in the American Journal of Public Health, the report said.

The scientists hypothesized that obesity may also be a co–risk factor for the development of occupational asthma and cardiovascular disease and that it may modify the worker’s response to occupational stress, immune response to chemical exposures, and risk of disease from occupational neurotoxins.

The researchers concluded that the possible links show that more study is needed to isolate the predictive factors and to accumulate possible strategies for minimizing the effects.

The findings of a separate study released by Duke University Medical Center last month indicated that “gaining too much weight can be as bad for an employer's bottom line as it is for a person's waistline,” says a report by Health Resources Publishing.

Qualifying this, the Duke study found that obese workers filed twice the number of workers' compensation claims, had seven times higher medical costs from those claims and lost 13 times more days of work from work injury or work illness than did nonobese workers.