Health-related morphological characteristics and physiological fitness in connection with nutritional, socio-economic status, occupational workload of tea garden workers
Background: Reports on the cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition of male workers engaged in processing of tea leaves in factories within the tea-estates of West Bengal, under the influence of physiological workload, are quite scanty.
Objectives: This cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate morphometric characteristics based on physiological status and physical fitness of tea factory laborers who are continuously exposed to tea dust in their work environment for more than two years.
Methods: Subjects were divided into control and tea garden workers groups. Height and weight were measured and the body mass index (BMI) was computed. Physiological parameters such as resting heart rate, blood pressure, fitness variables like physical fitness index (PFI), energy expenditure (EE), handgrip strength and anthropometric parameters like mid-upper arm (MUAC), thigh circumference (TC), head circumference (HC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) were measured.
Results: Body surface area (BSA), BMI, body fat percentage and fitness variables (PFI, EE) showed significant difference (p<0.05) between the two groups. Anthropometric measures (MUAC, TC, HC, WHR) reflected poor status among laborers.
Conclusions: The present study shows that the majority of workers had ectomorph stature, good physical fitness, but had poor nutritional status (BMI and WHR)
Key words: anthropometry; blood pressure; body mass index; body surface area; physical fitness; tea.