People who work in negative environments have an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The study found that employees in “mistrustful environments” had greater risk factors for heart disease, including smoking, poor diet and obesity. It also noted that the prevalence of cardiovascular disease among American adults is expected to increase from 35 per cent to more than 40 per cent by 2030.

Read: Considering the link between cardiovascular disease, absenteeism and cost

The study considered seven cardiovascular disease risk factors: smoking, obesity, low physical activity, poor diet, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Its demographics were made up of 42 per cent women and 58 per cent men. The largest per cent of respondents for both women (72 per cent) and men (72.2 per cent) were Caucasian, non-Hispanic with a mean age of 42. More than half of respondents were married and had technical training or some college.

The study examined trust, an important aspect of workplace social capital. “The independent variable was the response to a work environment question as to whether their supervisor always creates an open and trusting environment,” said the study.

Read: Employee satisfaction with job, finances linked to better health

It found that a negative work environment contributed to greater odds of having “important cardiovascular disease risk factors among full-time workers,” and suggested that supervisor behaviour can play an important role in improving employee health.

“Workplace intervention programs for CVD and other chronic health conditions should consider addressing this aspect of workplace social capital, and supervisor competencies and behaviour in particular, with proper training as a potential means to improve worker health,” said the study.

It deemed supervisor support as essential in “a comprehensive approach to worker safety and health and issues of managerial trust,” and noted this consideration should be included in any total worker health framework.

Read: New advances in tackling cardiovascular disease

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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