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Anthropometric Profiles and Blood Pressure of Quarry Students

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the study

In our daily life it is imperative that one engages in a source of livelihood to survive and meet up with the challenges posed by everyday life. The urge of survival is dependent on some factors like competition. Again coupled with the ever increasing population, man in his survival stride has embraced industrialization thus to neutralise the constraint unemployment may pose. Industrialization has been recognised as the main solution to the problem of unemployment in developing countries like Nigeria, for these industries to work out it must depend on the workers or labourers efficiency which is closely related to their health (Satyanarayana et al., 1977).

Occupation has its positive health promoting effect, as the financial dividends provide the workers with the necessities of life, but the importance of occupational health is often overlooked (Aliyu and Shehu, 2006). According to WHO and ILO (1950), Occupational Health is the promotion and maintenance of the highest degree of physical, mental and social well-being of workers in all occupations by preventing departures from health, controlling risks and the adaptation of work to people, and people to their jobs.  Despite the various labour act, factories decree and legislations by the federal government, studies have shown that Nigerian workers are constantly been exposed to occupational hazards (Awoyemi, 1999).  Hazard is defined as the presence of a material or condition that has the potential for causing loss or harm (Park, 2005), while occupational  risks and hazards are the health problems employees’ face in their work environment and how those health problems affect the health status of employee and their family (Agnihotram, 2005). It can also be defined as diseases, accidents and other hazards arising from the work environment or situations that arise in the attempt to perform tasks in any occupation. It is a compensable disease that arises out of and in the course of employment (Ahmed and smith, 2010).

Globally, there are 2.9 billion workers who are exposed to hazardous risks at their work places (Awan, 2001). The risks labourers face during their work may have a good impact on them or the other way round contribute negatively.

1.2         Statement of the problem

      The inevitability of manual labour can’t be overemphasized in most African and other third world countries of the world including Nigeria. In fact, there is no other means of livelihood for  the poor and rural dwellers in Nigeria other than strenuous works and little or no health care is given to these workers and equally the little pay they receive daily constitute a constraint to their health care as they can’t afford the expensive care hospitals provide , also educational background of the workers is terribly poor as few or none of the them know the health implications and occupational risks they are constantly exposed to on their day to day activities, therefore it is important that assessment of the blood pressure, weight, height, body mass index(BMI) be taken to help the workers on how they can minimise the push they give their bodies during working periods so as to live a more balanced and strong life and not to minimize their lifespan.

1.3   General objective

This research was generally carried out to comparatively analyse the anthropometric profiles and blood pressure of quarry workers and Ebonyi State University students in Abakaliki metropolis.

  1.    Specific objectives

  The specific objectives are to:

  1. Establishment of the normal values of the blood Pressures and anthropometric variables of quarry workers and students of Ebonyi State University and the likely impact of the occupation on the subjects.
  2. Examine the relationship of  blood pressure and known anthropometric variables  such as age (A), weight (W), height (H),  body mass index (BMI), waist   circumference (W C) and  body surface area(BSA) with blood pressure of quarry workers both and students.
  3. Examine the impact of activity in the blood pressure parameters measures in the blood pressures of the quarry workers and students.

1.5        Significance of study

              The importance of this study cannot be overemphasized as it will help to show the impact of works and occupation on the blood pressure of quarry workers and students and this can help the both subjects to minimise their working capacity in other to maintain balance and minimise stress.

1.6       Limitation of the study

The study limitations are:

  1. For practical reasons, the assessment was carried out before the  working hours has commenced, this was due to the refusal of the management to spare workers during working hours as per their opinion would affect the factory’s productivity significantly, thus only 4 sites in the factory was assessed.
  2. Again, ignorance and superstition equally posed a constraint to the assessment as few of the labourers turned up and again most believed that if such assessment were carried out on them the data gotten may be used for diabolical reasons and thus they refused to turn up.
  3. The turn up was relatively poor as the workers felt the assessment would have been to elevate their financial status but since none was forthcoming they refused coming out.

1.7      Scope of study.

           The study is limited to the assessment of blood pressure of 105 participants within the age bracket of 18 to 30 years using M2 automatic blood pressure monitor, weight, height, waist circumference and pulse rate of manual labourers and students after which body mass indices (BMI) and body surface areas (BSA) were both calculated and appropriate inference made with the gotten data.

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1     Description of blood pressure            Blood pressure is a measure of the force that the circulating blood exerts on the walls of the main arteries. The pressure wave transmitted along the arteries with each heartbeat is easily felt as the pulse the highest (systolic) pressure is created by the heart contracting and the lowest (diastolic) pressure is measured as the heart fills (Carlene et al., 2004). It may also be regarded as the product of cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance. Cardiac output determines the highest level of blood pressure, which is called systolic blood pressure (SBP) and peripheral resistance determines the lowest level of blood pressure, called diastolic blood pressure (DBP) (Barret, 2009). In the body, the arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins returns blood to the heart. As blood travels through the arteries, it presses against the walls of the arteries. Blood pressure is most commonly measured via a sphygmomanometer, which historically used the height of a column of mercury to reflect the circulating pressure (Booth, 1977). Traditionally, blood pressure was measured non-invasively using a mercury tubesphygmoman- ometer, which is still generally considered to be the gold standard of accuracy (Ogebegbe et al., 2010). More recently other semi-automated methods have become common, largely due to concerns about potential mercury toxicity (O’brien, 2001), although cost and ease of use have also influenced this trend (Ogebegbe et al., 2010). Early alternatives to mercury-tube sphygmomano- meters were often inaccurate, but modern validated devices which have similar accuracy to mercury devices are already in place (Ogebegbe et al., 2010).

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