According to an article on Health.com, there are some jobs and job characteristics that could potentially increase your risk for heart disease. Work-related factors that can affect your heart include sitting at a desk for long hours, irregular working hours, as well as exposure to some chemicals or pollution. So Health.com put together a list of some jobs to watch out for, as well as some ways to keep your heart healthy if you do work in one of these fields.
Desk Jobs: People who sit at a desk for extended hours have a higher risk of heart problems than workers who have more active jobs. It appears that prolonged sitting can cause a drop in insulin sensitivity and enzymes that break down fat. Standing up and walking around occasionally during working hours may help.
Emergency Responders: Emergency responders often juggle periods of less activity with high stress activity. According to the article, about 22% of deaths of police officers and 45% of deaths of firefighters that occur on the job are due to cardiovascular disease. Stress, exposure to pollutants, as well as other risk factors can contribute to their heart problems. It’s important for emergency responders to focus on healthy eating, exercise, and lowering blood pressure to try and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Shift Workers: Jobs that involve rotating shifts are linked to higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Shift work often disrupts a person’s “body clock”, that regulates blood sugar, blood pressure, and insulin levels. Short amounts of sleep are linked to greater heart risk. Also, night shift workers also seem to be more likely to smoke.
Factory Jobs: Those who work at jobs that are highly demanding, such as factory jobs where there are hourly quotas, are thought to be at higher risk of heart disease. Workers often have little control over the pace or other parts of the job. The famous Whitehall study involved a study of about 11,000 British civil servants and found that workers with low job control had double the risk of heart disease compared to those with more control over their jobs. The study also found a 67% increased risk for coronary heart disease among British civil servants who worked 11 or more hours a day, compared to those who worked 7 to 8 hours.