Nearly 80 percent of hospital workers in Houston are overweight or obese

In Houston, 78 percent of hospital employees are either obese or overweight, according to a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

For the study, researchers surveyed 924 employees across six Houston hospitals. Physicians were excluded from the survey.

Sixty-five percent of respondents reported no regular vigorous physical activity and 48 percent reported no regular moderate physical activity. Among the overweight and obese respondents, sedentary lifestyles were more prevalent. Additionally, almost 79 percent of workers surveyed expressed dissatisfaction with their worksite wellness programs.

"Seventy-eight percent is higher than the national average but not shocking because our study probably attracted employees who wanted to lose weight. Regardless, it is troubling because these are hospital employees active in the workforce and we need them to be healthy," said Shreela Sharma, PhD., the study's first author and an associate professor at Houston's UTHealth School of Public Health. "These results highlight the need for hospital employers to better understand, support and nurture the health of their employees."

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