3 Of The Ways Jobs Hurt Employee Health


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There are a lot of factors you must consider when looking for a new job. The salary, location, opportunities for the future, and more play into whether a position and company are right for you. But what about your health?

The truth of the matter is that even jobs we don’t consider to be dangerous can have a negative impact on employee health. Business Insider looked at data from the Occupational Information Network and compiled a list of the professions that were the most damaging to employee health based off factors like time spent sitting and possible exposure to hazardous materials. Surprisingly, jobs like dentist, flight attendant, and podiatrist topped the list of most unhealthy jobs.

Every job has the possibility of negatively impacting your health. Especially if you aren’t aware of what causes those health issues. Here are three common health problems that could stem from a job and how you can keep them from affecting your wellness:

1. Financial stress

A 2015 American Psychological Association survey found that 75 percent of millennials report feeling stressed about money. On average, they rate their financial stress a 5.4 out of 10. A healthy stress level is considered to be 3.7, which means worrying about money so much is hurting young professionals.

Everything from how much a company is willing to pay to their contributions to health insurance affects your financial well being. Consider whether you’ll be able to live comfortably before you choose a job so you can avoid unnecessary stress later.

Also, look for companies that offer financial wellness benefits. A 2016 Virgin Pulse study found that 43 percent of organizations provide perks like retirement contribution matching and college savings plans. Finding a company with these types of benefits means they prioritize employee health on every level.

2. Mental and physical burn out

You are going to have days at any job when you leave the office feeling completely exhausted. That’s normal. But when it happens too frequently, you begin to experience mental and physical burnout from the stress.

One of the best ways to know if a job is going to lead to unhealthy exhaustion is determining whether or not the company provides flexibility for working hours. A 2016 Staples Business Advantage survey found that 63 percent of employees said they would feel less burnt out if they could have a more flexible schedule.

Being able to choose when and where you work provides better work-life balance so you can recharge when necessary. It also makes it easier for you to fit healthy lifestyle choices, like regular exercise, into your schedule.

3. Harmful effects of sitting too long

A 2015 article from WebMD looked at multiple studies on the negative side effects of sitting most of the day. Even if you regularly exercise, sitting for more than eight hours significantly ups your chances of having heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Unfortunately, many professions require you to spend most of your working hours at a desk. However, the company’s policy on taking breaks or the type of office furniture they provide can help you counteract the effects of sitting too long. For instance, some companies have standing desks or in-house gyms so you can periodically get up and get that blood flowing.

Your well-being is extremely important and you deserve a job and an employer who values that. Consider a company’s focus on employee health and factor that into whether or not a position is right for you.

What are some other common negative impacts to employee health? Share in the comments below!

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Val Matta
Val Matta
Val Matta is the co-owner and leader of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. You can connect with her and the CareerShift team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, LinkedIn.