Research/studies Worker health and wellness Worker Health and Wellness Health Care Workers Office Safety Tips

Study links certain jobs to Vitamin D deficiency

people in office
Photo: XiXinXing/iStockphoto

Edmonton, Alberta – Shift workers and people who work indoors may be at an increased risk for vitamin D deficiency, suggests a recent study from the University of Alberta.

Researchers analyzed 71 peer-reviewed studies presenting data on 53,425 people in the northern and southern hemispheres. They found that vitamin D deficiency levels were highest among shift workers (80 percent), indoor workers (77 percent) and health care students (72 percent).

In addition, 91 percent of indoor workers had “insufficient” vitamin D levels, in which the degree of vitamin D was lower than levels recommended for health but not low enough to be considered deficient. Among outdoor workers, 48 percent had vitamin D deficiency and 75 percent had vitamin D insufficiency.

“Our results suggest that occupation is a major factor that may contribute to suboptimal vitamin D levels,” researcher and co-author Sebastian Straube, Ph.D., said in a press release. “Regular screening of vitamin D levels in at-risk groups should be considered for future clinical practice guidelines and public health initiatives. Workplace wellness programs could include education about the importance of adequate vitamin D levels. This could help prevent adverse health outcomes linked to vitamin D deficiency, such as metabolic disorders, psychiatric and cardiovascular disorders, and cancer.”

The study was published online on June 22 in the journal BMC Public Health.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)