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October 31, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

After spending UKP70 for each of the 10,400 employees who volunteered to be tested – that seems to add up to UKP728,000 – IBM UK found that 79% of men and 75% of women were obese according to the current definition (which wouldn’t have cut much ice in Rubens’ day) and that 83% of men and 76% of women aged 25 to 44 were unfit; 32% – 40% at the Greenock manufacturing plant – were running significant risk of heart disease from high blood cholesterol; and that 6.5% at Greenock had a serious drinking problem; the worst news is that even on these figures, the IBMers are actually slightly fitter than average; they also tend to live longer than the national average, but that is not surprising since there is a clear correlation between mortality rates and standard of living, and all IBMers are above the national average in that respect; the good news, apart from the fact that IBM cares enough to spend money on the study, is that it is now planning to invest another UKP120,000 trying to improve the health of its employees – chips will cost UKP1 a portion, salads will be free, says the Daily Mail – and that absenteeism at Greenock is already down to 4.8% from 5.7% since the investigation was conducted.

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