The aim of this study was to determine whether accumulated short bouts of exercise can achieve the same cardiovascular benefits as a single long bout of exercise in sedentary male Japanese workers and to compare the programs’ relative effects on oxidative stress. Twenty-three sedentary male workers were randomly assigned into 2 different exercise programs: a Long-bout group, which performed a single period of continuous exercise (Long-bout group: 30 min × 1) 3 d per week, and a Short-bouts group, which performed 3 short bouts of exercise (Short-bouts group: 10 min × 3) 3 d per week. Cardiovascular risk factors, including the plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) level, were examined at baseline and after both 10 and 20 wk. In the Long-bout group, waist circumference and maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) significantly improved after 20 wk. The Short-bouts group demonstrated significant increases in VO2max after 10 weeks and in HDL-C after 20 wk. Plasma TBARS significantly decreased after 20 weeks in the Long-bout group and tended to decrease (but not significantly) in the Short-bouts group. These results indicate that accumulated short bouts of exercise are an effective option, especially for busy workers, for incorporating exercise into one’s lifestyle.
Research regarding the risk of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome after exposure to impact vibration has produced conflicting results. This study used an established animal model of vibration-induced dysfunction to determine how exposure to impact vibration affects peripheral blood vessels and nerves. The tails of male rats were exposed to a single bout of impact vibration (15 min exposure, at a dominant frequency of 30 Hz and an unweighted acceleration of approximately 345 m/s2) generated by a riveting hammer. Responsiveness of the ventral tail artery to adrenoreceptor-mediated vasoconstriction and acetylcholine-mediated re-dilation was measured ex vivo. Ventral tail nerves and nerve endings in the skin were assessed using morphological and immunohistochemical techniques. Impact vibration did not alter vascular responsiveness to any factors or affect trunk nerves. However, 4 days following exposure there was an increase in protein-gene product (PGP) 9.5 staining around hair follicles. A single exposure to impact vibration, with the exposure characteristics described above, affects peripheral nerves but not blood vessels.
Construction is one of the world’s biggest industry that includes jobs as diverse as building, civil engineering, demolition, renovation, repair and maintenance. Construction workers are exposed to a wide variety of hazards. This study analyzes 1,117 expert witness reports which were submitted to criminal and labour courts. These reports are from all regions of the country and cover the period 1972–2008. Accidents were classified by the consequence of the incident, time and main causes of the accident, construction type, occupation of the victim, activity at time of the accident and party responsible for the accident. Falls (54.1%), struck by thrown/falling object (12.9%), structural collapses (9.9%) and electrocutions (7.5%) rank first four places. The accidents were most likely between the hours 15:00 and 17:00 (22.6%), 10:00–12:00 (18.7%) and just after the lunchtime (9.9%). Additionally, the most common accidents were further divided into sub-types. Expert-witness assessments were used to identify the parties at fault and what acts of negligence typically lead to accidents. Nearly two thirds of the faulty and negligent acts are carried out by the employers and employees are responsible for almost one third of all cases.
We evaluated spirometric obstructive pulmonary function impairment among workers who were occupationally exposed to organic solvents, iron oxide dust, or welding fumes. Data were collected from records of periodic health examinations of workers. In total, 448 Korean male workers were enrolled and classified into three exposure groups: exposure to organic solvents, iron oxide dust, or welding fumes. Logistic regression analysis was performed to evaluate the association between occupational exposure and pulmonary function. Compared to exposure to organic solvents, exposure to iron oxide dust was significantly associated with obstructive pulmonary function impairment (odds ratio [OR], 9.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.20–41.97). The group exposed to welding fumes did not show a significantly higher OR compare to those exposed to organic solvents (OR, 2.83; 95% CI, 0.74–10.8). These results suggest that exposure to iron oxide dust has a greater association with obstructive pulmonary function impairment than exposure to organic solvents or welding fumes.
An objective of this study is to search how physical examination and diet consultation can influence those risk factors of cardiovascular disease. The subjects were 326 pilots of the “B” airline company in Korea whose total cholesterol values were over 220 mg/dl on their regular physical examinations from April 2006 to December 2008. They were divided into two groups, one who had diet consultation (an intervention group) and a control group. The physical examination components used to each group were body mass index (BMI), total cholesterol (TC), high density lipoprotein (HDL), low density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglyceride (TG). The behavioral, anthropometric and biomedical measurements were collected at each visit. This study compares and investigates the changes of serum cholesterol and also the health-behavior at each physical examination. Within the intervention group significant improvements were observed for total cholesterol, BMI (body mass index) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). The normalizing rates for cholesterol level to decrease down to lower than 200 mg/dl were 17.7% in intervention group and 8.7% in control group, which is statistically significantly higher among the intervention group. The odds ratio of diet consultation was 2.80 (95% CI=1.35–5.79), which indicates that it is a significantly contributing factor to normalize the serum cholesterol value down to lower than 200 mg/dl. Based on result, it is recommended to have regular physical examination and intensive management with diet and exercise consultation.
The grainyhead like 2 (GRHL2) is a transcription factor, and the role among noise exposed workers is not well established. We tested whether GRHL2 polymorphisms are associated with the risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in Chinese high intensity noise exposed workers. We genotyped six polymorphisms of GRHL2 gene (i.e., rs611419, rs3779617, rs3735713, rs3735714, rs3735715, and rs6989650) of 340 NIHL cases and 356 control subjects who exposed to noise higher than 85 dB (A) [Lex, 8 h=time-weighted average of levels of noise exposure (Lex) for a nominal 8 h working day] in a Chinese population. Compared with rs611419 AA genotype, the AT/TT genotypes conferred protection against NIHL [adjusted odds ratio (OR)=0.71, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.52–0.98]. No altered NIHL risk was associated with the other five polymorphisms. In the combined analyses, we found that the combined genotypes with three to eight variant alleles were associated with an decrease risk of NIHL compared with those with zero to two variant alleles, and the decrease risk was more pronounced among subgroups of exposure time>20 yr (0.31, 0.16–0.62) and drinkers (0.51, 0.29–0.90). Polymorphisms of GRHL2 may positively contribute to the etiology of NIHL.
A practical method for non-experts in assessing exposure to risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) is presented. Evaluación del Riesgo Individual (Individual Risk Assessment) (ERIN) is based on available ergonomic tools, epidemiological evidence and the joint IEA-WHO project for developing WMSDs risk management in developing countries. ERIN focuses primarily on the interaction of some physical workplace factors but also includes the workers’ assessment. A scoring system has been proposed to indicate the level of intervention required to reduce the risk of injury. A worksheet has also been designed for increasing the usability of the method. Preliminary tests show that it is easy and quick to use, but further work is needed to establish its reliability and validity. The use of ERIN can contribute to the prevention of WMSDs in Cuba and other developing countries.
We examined the implementation of mental health prevention programs in Japanese workplaces and the costs and benefits. A cross-sectional survey targeting mental health program staff at 11 major companies was conducted. Questionnaires explored program implementation based on the guidelines of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Labor, materials, outsourcing costs, overheads, employee mental discomfort, and absentee numbers, and work attendance were examined. Cost-benefit analyses were conducted from company perspectives assessing net benefits per employee and returns on investment. The surveyed companies employ an average of 1,169 workers. The implementation rate of the mental health prevention programs was 66% for primary, 51% for secondary, and 60% for tertiary programs. The program’s average cost was 12,608 yen per employee and the total benefit was 19,530 yen per employee. The net benefit per employee was 6,921 yen and the return on investment was in the range of 0.27–16.85. Seven of the 11 companies gained a net benefit from the mental health programs.