Soooooo I’m going to be addressing a bit of an Elephant in the Room here, but have you measured your waistline lately?
Now before you scramble for the DELETE or unsubscribe button, the reason why I’m raising awareness around this topic is that my entire Healthy Shift Worker philosophy has always been about sharing stuff that people don’t necessarily want to hear, but need to.
Quite simply, I care about your health, and want you to be the healthiest version of yourself possible.
That being said, I’d be pretty safe to say that most people would have answered with a “no’ to a waistline check, so don’t take it personally if you can resonate!
But let’s get back to your waistline, and why its circumference is important.
According to the Australian National and Health Medical Research Council guidelines, a waist measurement of 94cm or more (for men), and 80cm or more (for women) is indicative of increased risk of chronic disease.
Some of these risk factors include things like:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Pre-diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
- Ischaemic heart disease
- Depression … and much, much more.
The underlying mechanisms can vary including an excess of sugary foods and beverages, chronic stress, alcohol consumption, sedentary lifestyle and even an imbalance of gut bacteria in the digestive system.
Now when fatty tissue deposits around the belly region (also referred to as central adiposity) it contributes to the production of adipokines, which are proteins produced by the fat cells.
In small amounts, this is no big deal, but when large amounts are being produced on a regular basis, they can enter the general circulation and become problematic.
This is because it contributes to systemic inflammation which is one of the key drivers behind so many chronic health conditions that we see today.
So do yourself a favour, dig out the tape measure and do an at-work or at-home “health assessment”, because we can’t fix what we don’t know (or ignore) … and it’s way better to be aware so that we can look at changing our choices and behaviours moving forward as a result.
Elks, C & Francis 2010, ‘Central adiposity, systemic inflammation, and the metabolic syndrome’, Current Hypertension Reports, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 99-104.