Revealed: the careers that slowly kill you

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More organizations than ever before are now implementing effective health and wellness initiatives but it seems HR departments in certain industries may have to improve their programs if one new study is to be believed.

Scientists at the U.S. Public Health Service have published a report identifying the least healthy professions, those with the worst diets, and those who are most at risk of serious illness.
Just some of the findings include:
  • Those aged over 45 are more likely to suffer heart disease or stroke if they work in sales, office support or service occupations.
  • Four out of five office workers did not do enough physical activity.
  • Food industry workers had the worst diets.
  • Ninety per cent of police officers and firefighters were overweight or obese.
  • Transport workers were the heaviest smokers, with 22 per cent smoking regularly.
  • Those in management or professional roles had the best heart health.
Michaela Connor is the peopleworks leader at Flight Centre New Zealand – she says the industry is notoriously hard-working which can lead to employees letting their health slide.

“It is a demanding industry,” she told HRM. “We have a lot of hard working people in our company – they go over and beyond but it’s really important that they have that healthy balance as well.”

Connor says that’s why the company is proactive in supporting employee health and wellness.

“We have got our health advisors and health providers, we also have contractors going out to our businesses all over the country and they check that the chair is right, the desk is fine, the computer is high enough, they also measure employees’ blood pressure and cholesterol to make sure that they’re healthy and they talk through some health goals as well because it is a demanding industry,” she told HRM.

“They don’t have to pay for that,” she added. “That’s part of being an employee at Flight Centre.”


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