The type of job you choose to do can have a huge impact on your health. Whether it’s a white-collar job, creative, professional or mundane job, each and every profession has its own unique set of risks. Some jobs have dangerous working conditions while others have a severe negative effect on mental and physical health because of high level of stress, depressing work environment and long hours put into the job.
It is ironical that healthcare workers that are tasked with making everyone sound and healthy are exactly the ones that can’t do the same for themselves because of the hazards of their jobs. Healthcare Workers including doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists and pharmacists face a lot of stress since they have to be on calls and shifts.
These threats include elevated stress hormones, increased sleep disorders, heart disease, increased risks of diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome. Health care workers that work long hours and participate in fewer physical activity are at greatest risk.
This includes the police force, civil defense and any other agencies responsible for keeping law and order. These professions have a high rate of on-the-job fatalities, injuries and illnesses which is why a stipend is paid as ‘hazard fees’ to people that work in these fields. Furthermore, law enforcement officers that are first responders to emergency situations have a very stressful job.
Research has shown that a lot of law enforcement officers die of heart attacks on the job mostly because they have to be on high alert all the time and the unpredictable situations they have to face daily. This job also requires long hours, sleep deprivation, and most workers in this field also have poor eating habits which is usually a big threat to workers in this field.
9 to 5 Office Workers
While there may not be an immediate danger for Nine-to-fivers as compared to a health workers or soldier, there however exists growing evidence that living a sedentary lifestyle that is mostly restricted indoors can be a threat to long-term health and wellness.
Sitting for between 5 to 6 hours has been linked to a shorter lifespan span, obesity, back pain, repetitive stress injuries and an increased risk of heart disease even among people who exercise before going to work.
The best way to protect yourself is to take frequent breaks during the course of work. Get outside for fresh air and a brisk walk for a few minutes in between work to stay healthy.
Long Distance Drivers
Intercity bus drivers that drive long distances are exposed to higher risks of injuries and illnesses than other occupations in this category. Intercity bus, truck, and taxi drivers are at the wheels for long hours and will usually breath in unhealthy dust and fumes. More so, because truck drivers may have to spend days on the road, they are prone to eating unhealthy fast food.
Drivers are also prone to Sleep problems and on-the-job sleepiness. The biggest threat of all is road traffic accidents which is the leading cause of workplace fatalities.
The law profession seems to have the Highest rates of stress and depression among all members of the general public. A survey conducted in 2007 in the US found out that only four out of every 10 lawyers will recommend the career to anyone.
Back here in Nigeria, it is quite tough for Lawyers to get jobs and those that do usually have to work long hours to satisfy their chambers. Young professionals have very little autonomy if they are even successful enough to get a job.
Manual labourers that lift heavy objects and drive heavy machinery are at risk of bad health. It is estimated that about 32 thousand cases of on the job injuries occurred in Nigeria among labourers and factory workers in 2015.
The traditional areas of manual labour that are hazardous include factory, mining, farming and agriculture. Factory workers seem to have the highest risk for manual labourers, while other areas make up smaller portions than they used to be.
The military profession involves extreme physical demands and most people enlisted in the army, navy or airforce constantly have to make a life and death decision while staying long periods away from family and friends.
Furthermore, bullying and psychological abuse from superiors and peers happens a lot in the military which puts a lot of mental and physical strain on soldiers.
Also, Soldiers are also prone to post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems. A study conducted in the United States of America in 2012 found suicide rates to be higher among active military personnel and that it rose sharply between 2004 and 2008.