Are you working in a field that puts you at increased risk of developing heart disease or stroke? Determine your risk level and what you can do about it.
A study was conducted with 5,566 employed men and women at least 45 years of age, with no history of heart disease or stroke at the beginning of the study. Participants were evaluated on modifiable risk factors that put people at risk for heart disease and stroke including:
- Blood pressure
- Total cholesterol
- Blood glucose
- Body mass
Findings showed that people who work in sales, office support or service occupations exhibited more risk factors than people in management or professional jobs.
Specific occupations were evaluated which showed more in depth findings: 22% of transportation/material moving workers were smokers which was the highest rate among the occupations that were studied. Of sales, office and administrative support employees, 68% had poor eating habits, and 82% of office and administrative support workers had below average scores for exercise.
Of food preparation and serving workers, 79% had poor diet quality, which was the worst of the diets evaluated in the study.
The findings also showed that 90% of protective service workers (police, firefighters, emergency workers) were likely to be obese or overweight, 77% had poor cholesterol levels and 35% had high blood pressure. Management and professionals were shown to have the best cardiovascular health among the groups in the study due to body mass, activity level and smoking. Of this group, 72% of professionals in business and finance had poor eating habits.
Knowing the results of this study can help determine what you need to do in order to have better cardiovascular health based on your occupation. In a job where you sit for long periods of time may indicate that you need to get up and move around a few times a day. If the findings show that your occupation tends to result in poor eating habits, you may want to consider a change in diet or food choices.
Gaining knowledge about your risk factors based on occupation and medical history can help you improve your lifestyle. Analyze your job and your health and be on your way to better cardiovascular health!