Nursing in the News: Concerns raised as over 25% of nurses found to be obese

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Charlotte's Web
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Concerns have been raised today after it has been found that 25% of nurses have been found to be obese (BMI over 30). With over half of nurses in England aged 45 or over, this may have severe implications in terms of heart disease and musculoskeletal issues.

Full article:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/1..._obese_nurses/


What are your thoughts? What are the causes of high obesity levels in nursing staff? Do nurses have a responsibility to portray healthy lifestyle?
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ForestCat
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
Concerns have been raised today after it has been found that 25% of nurses have been found to be obese (BMI over 30). With over half of nurses in England aged 45 or over, this may have severe implications in terms of heart disease and musculoskeletal issues.

Full article:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/1..._obese_nurses/


What are your thoughts? What are the causes of high obesity levels in nursing staff? Do nurses have a responsibility to portray healthy lifestyle?
Its only slightly higher than the general population and the data is over 5 years old. I wonder if current figures are more in line with general population now.

I think its easy to make excuses. Can be hard to fit exercise in around shifts. Busy shifts tend to be fuelled by chocolate and quick fix snacks. I don't know about other but after long shifts, or lates, I don't particularly feel like cooking and it tends to be ready meals (or worse). I doubt it will have gotten much better with the increasing demands placed on nurses.

I know a lot of trusts do try and tackle it. Salary sacrifice and discounts on bikes if you cycle to work. Exercise classes on site or discounted gym memberships (some even have gyms on site). But I don't know how good the uptake is.
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moonkatt
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(Original post by ForestCat)
Its only slightly higher than the general population and the data is over 5 years old. I wonder if current figures are more in line with general population now.

I think its easy to make excuses. Can be hard to fit exercise in around shifts. Busy shifts tend to be fuelled by chocolate and quick fix snacks. I don't know about other but after long shifts, or lates, I don't particularly feel like cooking and it tends to be ready meals (or worse). I doubt it will have gotten much better with the increasing demands placed on nurses.

I know a lot of trusts do try and tackle it. Salary sacrifice and discounts on bikes if you cycle to work. Exercise classes on site or discounted gym memberships (some even have gyms on site). But I don't know how good the uptake is.
If I had a bit more self discipline I could probably exercise more, though I could use that argument around many aspects of my lifestyle. I try to take meals into work, but if I've a particularly punisingboff duty it can be difficult to find the time to plan meals and cook stuff to take in, so I'll get a ready meal and what it in work, or buy something, if I happen to get a break in the small windows of tine the canteen actually has food worth buying.

A lot of the staff perks that exist at my trust are only worthwhile if you work the core 8-4 or 9-5 shifts. We have a salary sacrifice scheme for bicycles, however, you're taking your life into your hands with the terrible standard of driving in this city.
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awkwardshortguy
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(Original post by Charlotte's Web)
What are the causes of high obesity levels in nursing staff?
Is this a trick question?
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rescueme
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A few weeks back I started a thread about healthcare professionals and their lifestyles, in an effort to get some advice from others working in the sector and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle including gym/exercise routine while working 13 hour shifts rotating between days and nights. I'm still waiting for a positive response from somebody who manages to juggle work with gym/exercise/healthy lifestyle. I'm sure there are people who achieve this but it is not easy. Prior to getting into nursing I worked in a different sector, I worked a shift pattern but never worked nights or more than 9 hours per day and I had a much better lifestyle, I was very active and fit but since I started nursing I have completely lost the drive and enthusiasm to go to the gym. I simply don't have the energy, and if I did go to the gym I would not be able give it 110%. Many nurses have 4 days off per week, but they need this as recovery time from working such long shifts, cramming a weeks work into 3 days/nights has consequences, fatigue being a major one. This can then impact other areas of life such as eating habits, sleeping pattern and so it spirals into a much bigger issue and ends up having a negative impact on health. Nurses work bloody hard looking after other peoples health while neglecting their own in the process.
So I would say nurses are obese because they eat crap food, are exhausted and have little time and energy for fitting in a gym/exercise routine. Also, their circadian rhythms are screwed up from working odd hours. Numerous studies have shown the impact of shift work on health.
Do nurses have a responsibility to portray healthy lifestyle?
Yes, I do think nurses have a responsibility to show a healthy lifestyle, they should practice what they preach. Also, if a nurse is the picture of health and looks in good shape I'm sure patients would be more likely to take advice from the nurse on board rather than from an obese nurse. How would you feel if an obese and out of shape nurse started advising you on lifestyle choices and how they impact your health?
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