The best and worst jobs for your health

The best and worst jobs for your health

A new study has revealed that certain jobs are more exposed to Covid-19 and other hazards.

Our health is a vital part of our lives, and many of us are willing to change diets, lifestyles and hobbies to protect it. But do we think about the effect our job has?

Every career comes with its own hazards, from spending hours each day looking at a screen to working in dangerous environments.

To find which careers are the best for safeguarding our health, Lenstore – a UK based online contact lens retailer and vision care expert – has analysed 48 popular jobs to identify those that encounter the most health threats, including exposure to infection.

The 10 jobs most at risk of infection are:

• Dentists

• Critical care nurses

• General practitioners

• Emergency medical technicians
and paramedics

• Anaesthetists

• Surgeons

• Veterinarians

• Flight attendants

• Physical therapists

• Firefighters

The 10 jobs least at risk of infection are:

• Accountants

• IT Managers

• Web developers

• Welders

• Lawyers

• Marketing managers

• Physicists

• Architects

• Power plant operators

• Zoologists and wild biologists

“Although some jobs inherently post higher risk than others, it’s important to address the risks that we can reduce or resolve entirely,” says Roshni Patel, professional services manager at Lenstore. “Issues of posture or fitness can often be as simple as making sure our desk is set up to support a straighter and supported back and taking regular breaks to walk around for a couple of minutes.”

Looking at eight individual health hazards, these are the jobs that are the best and worst for your health:

The 48 professions listed in the study were selected for popularity and diversity from a master list of 968 jobs.

Health riskUnhealthiest job roleHealthiest job role
HazardousOil riggersWeb developers
Risk of infectionDentistsAccountants
Risk of injuryOil riggersWeb developers
Joints and muscular issuesFlight attendantsSecondary school teachers
PostureCar mechanicsSecondary school teachers
Sensory damageOil riggersGeneral practitioners
FitnessWeb developersBuilders
Sun damageOil riggersSurgeons

Older workers key to post-Covid recovery

A new report from the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) – the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on society – unveils the significant, and growing, economic impact of older workers across the Group of Twenty (G20, an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union):

• Nearly one in three workers across the G20 is already aged 50 and over – this could rise to 40% of the workforce by 2035; and

• In 2014, workers aged 50 and older generated every third dollar earned across the G20. By 2035 this cohort is projected to generate nearly 40% of all earnings.

The report argues that leveraging the economic contributions of older people will be instrumental in the global post-pandemic recovery and that addressing health barriers to work for older people can unlock a significant “longevity dividend”.

“Policymakers are so fixated on the direct costs of ageing that they fail to notice the significant and growing contributions that older people make,” says David Sinclair, director of ILC-UK. “This prevents them from fully realising the social and economic potential of older people – and from appreciating the longevity dividend.

“Older people’s social and economic impact is already significant, but there’s potential to increase this further. The barriers they face are in part avoidable – and the most important is poor health.”

ILC-UK analysis finds higher rates of employment among older people in countries that spend more on health as a proportion of gross domestic product. Across countries, a one-percentage point increase in health spending is associated with a three-percentage point increase in the employment rate for people aged 55 to 64.

The report suggests that countries also need to address other known barriers to work for older people, such as non-inclusive workplaces, to maximise the potential longevity dividend.

“Despite the tragedy and devastation, Covid-19 has placed society in an exceptional moment to prioritise health and act on ageing. It has shown us how health and the economy are linked and has exposed the dangers of under-investing in prevention,” says Sinclair.

“Let’s use this shift in mindset to raise the necessary funds today to realise a longevity dividend tomorrow.”

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