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Research institute of Complinatry Health Science

Tailoring: The Healthiest Profession

A Retrospective Observational Study

Dr. Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury

Aim: To find the status of health condition of tailors (working on sewing machine with foot pedal).

Background: It is a proven fact that the job involving sitting for long hours leads to increase in mortality and morbidity and is one of the major causes of life style diseases. However recently, it is proven that calf muscle pushup while sitting causes improved blood sugar level and even fidgeting, of legs while sitting has many health benefits and potential to prevent life style diseases. While the tailoring job involves sitting for long hours, but at the same time, action of their feet to make sewing machine work, is synonymous to calf muscle pushups. To work on the sewing machine, they have to continuously move their feet on foot pedal of the machine while sitting. The purpose of this retrospective observational study is to find out if the adverse effect due to long hours of sitting can be mitigated by calf muscle pushups and leg fidgeting.

Sample Size: A total sample size of 250 tailors from and nearby Kurti Nagar, Meerut-UP India, which is the major hub of tailoring business was considered for this study. Tailors of every age group were included (with no age criteria). There were no exclusions.

Questionnaire: The following questions were asked from the tailors and the response was recorded through videography.
  1. Name
  2. Age
  3. Address
  4. Number of years working as tailor
  5. Avg. number of hours of work everyday
  6. Any health issues they have
  7. Are they taking any medications for any health issue
  8. Do they have Hypertension or Diabetes
  9. Are they taking any medication for BP or Sugar
  10. Have they experienced any pain in leg or feet

Methodology: Door-to-door observations were made. Questions were asked verbally and responses were recorded through videography as some of the tailors were uneducated/ illiterate, some of them were unwilling to write the answers as it meant waste of their time.
Minimum Age of the person in the study sample 15 years
Maximum Age of the person in the study sample 75 years
Minimum Years spent in tailoring 3 years
Maximum Years spent in tailoring 45 years
Average numbers of hours spent per day on sewing machine 8 hours
Percentage of Males 89%
Percentage of Females 11%
Result: According to the presented data of 250 tailors, the observational study found that:
1. None of the tailors suffered any kind of illness.
2. None of the tailors were taking any medication for any health issue.
Discussion: Through this observational study, it is concluded that the working professionals whose job involves sitting for long hours, if they include fidgeting in their habit or intermittently perform calf muscle pushups as a part of their sitting habit, then adverse effects of sitting can be mitigated and one can protect, reduce or reverse diseases associated with sitting for long hours. Our result is in line with the previously done UK Women’s Cohort Study. It is also concluded that among all the professions where sitting for long hours is involved, tailoring seems to be the healthiest profession.

References:
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  2. Mayor S. Prolonged sitting increases risk of serious illness and death regardless of exercise, study finds. BMJ. 2015 Jan 19;350:h306. doi:10.1136/bmj.h306. PMID: 25646739.
  3. Hamilton MT, Hamilton DG, Zderic TW. A potent physiological method to magnify and sustain soleus oxidative metabolism improves glucose and lipid regulation. I Science. 2022 Aug 5;25(9):104869. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2022.104869. PMID: 36034224; PMCID: PMC9404652.
  4. Pettit-Mee RJ, Ready ST, Padilla J, Kanaley JA.Leg Fidgeting During Prolonged Sitting Improves Postprandial Glycemic Control in People with Obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2021 Jul;29(7):1146-1154. doi:10.1002/oby.23173. PMID: 34159757; PMCID: PMC8231734.
  5. Prolonged sitting-induced leg endothelial dysfunction is prevented by fidgeting. Takuma Morishima, Robert M. Restaino, Lauren K. Walsh, Jill A. Kanaley, Paul J.Fadel, and Jaume Padilla. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2016 311:1, H177-H182
  6. Gareth Hagger-Johnson, Alan J. Gow, Victoria Burley, Darren Greenwood, Janet E. Cade, Sitting Time, Fidgeting, and All-Cause Mortality in the UK Women’s Cohort Study, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 50, Issue 2,2016.

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