Men, your jobs may be killing you

Leslie Hanson
May 15, 2018

Pieter Coenen, a renowned occupational health researcher at the VU University Medical Center, Netherlands analyzed over 17 studies that examined the effects and consequences of job-based physical activities.

According to the latest research, people who have jobs in strenuous fields where physical labor is highly required, have a high risk of shortened lifespan than those who have sedentary jobs.

They said that if the finding was proved to be causal, then physical activity guidelines should differentiate between workplace and leisure exercise. Moderate physical activity can raise the heart rate and increase blood pressure just enough to strengthen the heart and the cardiovascular system.

"This study shows that men who took part in a high level of occupational physical activity had an 18% higher risk of early death compared to those who only reported a low level of physical activity in the workplace".

But Coenen believes other factors are at play. This was still the case even when levels of leisure time physical activity were taken into account. You are lifting, doing repetitive movements, and manual handling. "That may lead to the opposite of what is healthy for the heart, namely putting a strain on the cardiovascular system".


Accordingly, worldwide guidelines encourage people to engage in up to 30 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity daily, but such guidelines do not distinguish between occupational, leisure time, and transportation-related activity. "These people are in double trouble, because they don't benefit from leisure-time activity and are exposed to the risk of physical activity at work", Coenen says.

To investigate the effects of exercise on health, the scientists combined the results from 17 published studies, giving them data on almost 200,000 people. The studies they added considered majorly the lifestyle aspects of smoking and alcohol consumption, etc. Coenen realized that not all of the studies regulated the harmful effects.

The study appears in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Both of these exercises have different sets of physiological outcomes. He points to a study a year ago of half a million people in China that found physical activity had health benefits whether it was at work or in leisure time.

"The message I would give is that people should try to follow the physical activity guidelines regardless of what they do for a job", Hamer said.

Most people could use more exercise.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER