Study: Your job might be hazardous to your health

Wed, Mar 9, 2016

Your livelihood could affect your risk of heart disease and stroke, a new study warns.


Middle-aged workers in sales, office or food service jobs may be subjected to more heart health risk factors than those with professional or managerial jobs, the study says.


The study assessed the health data of more than 5,500 men and women aged 45 and older based on risk factors from the American Heart Association including blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, physical activity, smoking, and diet and body mass index. It identified professions such as police officers, firefighters, truckers and health care support workers as being more likely to have employees who smoke, eat unhealthily, are sedentary and have high blood pressure – all factors detrimental to heart health.


The good news is those workers can make changes, even small ones, to improve their heart health, according to lead researcher Captain Leslie MacDonald, Sc.D., a senior scientist in the U.S. Public Health Service. She shared her thoughts at a recent meeting of the American Heart Association in Phoenix.


“It’s important to take small steps and not get overwhelmed or discouraged,” she said. Taking a walk during lunch, parking farther away from destinations, using the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator are all examples of the steps employees can take to start improving their overall heart health.


News of the study was welcomed by Dr. Lynn Wagner, an integrative lifestyle medicine physician with BayCare Clinic in Green Bay. She was not involved in the study.


“Any study that advocates increased attention to our overall health and well-being is a positive development,” she said. “A growing consensus for many of us in healthcare is the importance of illustrating for our patients their role in ensuring their health. This is another study we can use to stress to our patients the importance of physical activity, a healthy diet and smoking cessation.”


BayCare Clinic Integrative Lifestyle Medicine is a patient care philosophy designed to treat the whole person – mind, body and spirit – not just your disease or illness. Call 920-327-7056 for information or request an appointment online.



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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.