Adopting healthy habits improves the main health indicators in six months

Adopting healthy habits improves the main health indicators in six months

  • SEAT, IrsiCaixa, Hospital Clínic, Harvard University and ITAE Empresas present the results of the pioneering study MedCARS, with the participation of close to 500 employees of the Spanish carmaker
  • The study confirms a direct correlation between the Mediterranean diet, a real, guided change in habits and the improved state of health of the population
  • The results of the analysis have led to the largest database on microbiome associated with the Mediterranean diet, which will enable further research

SEAT, IrsiCaixa, Hospital Clínic, ITAE Empresas and scientists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recently presented the results of MedCARS, a pioneering global study on the multifactorial intervention in healthy lifestyles. Their research showed that adopting healthy habits, such as the Mediterranean diet and physical exercise, improves important health indicators in just six months including cardiovascular risk factors, sleep quality and mental and emotional health.

The analysis was made in the framework of the SEAT Healthy Company Scientific Committee and successfully confirmed the direct correlation between the Mediterranean diet, a real, guided change in habits and improved health. At the same time, the research results now form a collection of the world’s largest database of microbiome associated with the Mediterranean diet, which will enable further research in the future.

The MedCARS team worked for one month to integrate healthy habits into the lifestyle of around 500 employees at the SEAT factory and verify their impact on their state of health. Prior to this, the Scientific Committee had carried out a retrospective study into the health of SEAT workers, where nearly ten million health data were analysed, which led to the conclusion that the company’s workforce is a universal sampling of the surroundings and that the results can be extrapolated to the rest of the population.

 

A representative sample of the population

Dr. Patricia Such, head of Health and Safety at SEAT, pointed out that “together with schools, work centres are the only other large group venues where action can be taken to improve health. The study aimed to demonstrate that an intervention on the lifestyle of SEAT employees, which includes promoting the Mediterranean diet, more physical exercise and improved emotional health, would lead to a significant improvement in their state of health.”

In order to test this hypothesis, two groups of 300 volunteer employees were compared who underwent a thorough medical examination and an analysis of their eating habits and the amount of sport they practice. For six months, one group was given guidelines on how to improve their lifestyle, including advice on nutrition, healthy recipes, lifestyle and sport; a monthly gift of five litres of olive oil and 30 grammes of nuts daily; a healthy sandwich at work; a healthy choice in vending machines; discounts at Veritas supermarkets and diet and psychological assistance in the form of seminars.

 

Improved health in six months

After months of analysing the behaviour of the simple, a significant improvement was seen in the factors associated with cardiovascular risk in the intervention group: reduced body weight and waist circumference, improved lipid profile and a decrease in the inflammatory markers, which for example are associated with a progression of arteriosclerosis. Furthermore, the intervention group had a better mental health index and better quality of sleep.

In addition to this direct relation between the change of habits and a substantial improvement in health, psychological and emotional support was proven to be decisive for participants to firmly integrate new habits. Laura Solana, the training director at ITAE Empresas, underscored that “in order to avoid falling into traps when aiming to generate new habits, we work on adapting to change and managing the expectations that come with it, as well as on self-motivation strategies and organising the surroundings.” Family members were also present in some of the support sessions.

 

Next steps: microbiome

Thanks to the study, the most extensive collection of big data has been gathered on microbiome linked to intervention with the Mediterranean diet. Researchers collected samples of intestinal microbiome before and after the intervention. New lines of research are possible with this database that will enable analysing the impact of nutritional changes on the intestinal microbiome, as well as the relationship between the intestinal microbiome and general health. This part of the study will be conducted by the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, a centre which is jointly sponsored by “la Caixa” and the Department of Health of the Catalan Government.

 

One more step in SEAT’s commitment to health

SEAT has become a benchmark of occupational health in a corporate environment. Following the inauguration of CARS (Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre) in 2017, a one of a kind medical centre which performs more than 70,000 medical procedures annually on SEAT employees, and the presentation in 2018 of the results of a retrospective study that analysed the state of health of more than 30,000 people, MedCARS embodies SEAT’s commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles among the worker population and their families, beyond the company itself. With MedCARS, the goal is met of improving the health of workers, generating scientific knowledge for society and advocating for health as a key component for increasing the competitiveness of businesses.

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Dirk Steyvers PR & Content Manager SEAT & CUPRA, s.a. D'Ieteren n.v.
Dirk Steyvers PR & Content Manager SEAT & CUPRA, s.a. D'Ieteren n.v.
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SEAT

SEAT is de enige constructeur die in Spanje wagens ontwerpt, ontwikkelt, bouwt en commercialiseert. De multinational, die deel uitmaakt van de Volkswagen-groep, heeft zijn hoofdzetel in Martorell (Barcelona) en exporteert ruim 80% van zijn wagens naar meer dan 80 verschillende landen op de 5 continenten. In 2018 liet SEAT een nettowinst van 294 miljoen euro optekenen, verkocht het 517.600 auto’s en haalde het een recordomzet van bijna 10 miljard euro.

De SEAT-groep stelt meer dan 15.000 personen te werk en beschikt over drie productiecentra in Barcelona, El Prat de Llobregat en Martorell, waar onder andere de bijzonder succesvolle Ibiza, Arona en Leon worden gebouwd. Verder bouwt SEAT de Ateca in Tsjechië, de Tarraco in Duitsland, de Alhambra in Portugal en, binnenkort, de Mii electric in Slovakije.

D'Ieteren NV

D'Ieteren, opgericht in 1805 en verder uitgebouwd over verschillende familiegeneraties heen, streeft groei en waardecreatie na dankzij een langetermijnstrategie voor zijn ondernemingen op internationaal niveau, alsook een actieve stimulering en ondersteuning zodat deze ondernemingen zich kunnen ontwikkelen als marktleider in hun sector of in hun regio's. De groep heeft momenteel drie activiteiten die opgebouwd werden rond sterke merken:

 - D'Ieteren Auto verdeelt in België de voertuigen van de merken Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Škoda, Bentley, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Porsche en Yamaha. Het is de grootste autoverdeler in België, met een marktaandeel van ongeveer 21% en 1,2 miljoen voertuigen in omloop. De omzet en het aangepaste bedrijfsresultaat bedroegen respectievelijk 3,4 miljard EUR en 113,0 miljoen EUR in 2018.   

- Belron (voor 54,10% eigendom) streeft een duidelijke doelstelling na: “het verschil maken door de problemen van klanten met veel zorg op te lossen”. Belron is de wereldleider in de herstelling en vervanging van voertuigbeglazing. De onderneming is actief in 35 landen, via volle dochterondernemingen en franchises, met marktleidende merken – zoals Carglass®, Safelite® en Autoglass®. Daarnaast beheert Belron voertuigbeglazings- en andere verzekeringsclaims in naam van verzekeringsklanten. De onderneming breidde haar diensten ook uit tot de sector van de herstelling en vervanging van voertuig- en woningschade. De omzet en het aangepaste bedrijfsresultaat bedroegen respectievelijk 3,8 miljard EUR en 225,7 miljoen EUR in het boekjaar 2018.  

- Moleskine (voor 100% eigendom) is een premium en inspirerend lifestyle merk. Het bedrijf ontwikkelt onder een iconisch merk notebooks en schrijf-, reis- en leesaccessoires die in meer dan 115 landen worden verkocht via een multi-channel distributiestrategie. De omzet en het bedrijfsresultaat bedroegen respectievelijk 174,1 miljoen EUR en 28,6 miljoen EUR in 2018.

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