New research has found that certain professions can put people at higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
Your job can prove hazardous for your heart health.
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According to a recent report from the American Heart Association, people in some professions tend to have those habits which are not considered healthier or good and put themselves at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
For the study, researchers involved more than 5,000 workers from different professions. All the workers were 45 or older and do not have any prior history of heart disease or stroke at the beginning of the study.
Researchers found that middle-aged people working in sales, office, food service, transportation, police and firefighters appear to have more high risk of developing heart disease compared to those who are associated with other professions. They looked at seven modifiable risk factors for rating the workers’ heart health as ideal, intermediate or poor.
Study says that nearly 22% transporters are smokers, which is the highest rate among any profession involved in the study. People working in sales, office and administrative support mostly lack physical activity and did not have ideal cholesterol levels.
Food service employees had the worst diet profile with 79% having poor quality diet. Almost 90% policemen and firefighters were found obese or overweight and most of them also had high blood pressure.
Overall people involved in management had better heart health than the rest of the categories. Most of them were active and had ideal weight. Just 6% of them were smokers.
“The lower the number of ideal cardiovascular risk factors, the easier it becomes to predict their future health ills, including premature death, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.” Captain Leslie MacDonald, lead researcher from U.S. Public Health Service said.
Many previous researches also showed a link between metabolic risk factors and tough work conditions such as long work hours and low job control. The latest research also suggests that inflexible work schedules, workplace demands and work stress all can contribute to employee’s bad health. These pressures can make them hard to find time to exercise, get enough sleep and prepare healthy meal.
Still, researchers believe that heart health can be improved with simple changes.
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“It’s important to take small steps and not get overwhelmed or discouraged,” said McDonald. “Such small steps could include using lunch breaks to go for a walk rather than working through lunch, parking farther away from destinations, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Over time, small steps accumulate into improved health.”