Risk Factors for Non-Communicable Diseases at Baseline and Their Short-Term Changes in a Workplace Cohort in Singapore
Centre for Population Health Sciences, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, 11 Mandalay Road, Singapore 308232, Singapore
Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, 237 Barton Street East, Hamilton, ON L8L 2X2, Canada
Department of Health Promotion, CAPHRI Care and Public Health Research Institute, Maastricht University, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
Department of Primary Care & Public Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College, London W6 8RP, UK
Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, London UB8 3PH, UK
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Division of Leadership, Management and Organisation, Nanyang Business School, College of Business, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Decision, Environmental and Organizational Neuroscience Lab, Culture Science Institute, Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
Global Digital Health Unit, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224551
Received: 13 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 18 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Workplace Health and Wellbeing 2019)
We aimed to examine the behavioural and clinical risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) at baseline and their changes over 12 months in a workplace cohort in Singapore. A total of 464 full-time employees (age ≥ 21 years) were recruited from a variety of occupational settings, including offices, control rooms, and workshops. Of these, 424 (91.4%) were followed-up at three months and 334 (72.0%) were followed up at 12 months. Standardized questionnaires were used to collect data on health behaviours and clinical measurements were performed by trained staff using standard instruments and protocols. Age-adjusted changes in risk factors over time were examined using generalized estimating equations or linear mixed-effects models where appropriate. The mean age of the participants at baseline was 39.0 (SD: 11.4) years and 79.5% were men. Nearly a quarter (24.4%) were current smokers, slightly more than half (53.5%) were alcohol drinkers, two-thirds (66%) were consuming <5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and 23.1% were physically inactive. More than two-thirds (67%) were overweight or obese and 34.5% had central obesity. The mean follow-up was 8.6 months. After adjusting for age, over 12 months, there was a significant increase in the proportion consuming <5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day by 33% (p = 0.030), who were physically inactive by 64% (p < 0.001), and of overweight or obese people by 15% (p = 0.018). The burden of several key NCD risk factors at baseline was high and some worsened within a short period of time in this working population. There is a need for more targeted strategies for behaviour change towards a healthy lifestyle as part of the ongoing health and wellness programs at workplaces in Singapore.