Could Your Job Be Impacting Your Heart Health?


It’s common knowledge that certain things, like smoking or a high cholesterol diet, are harmful to cardiovascular health. But there are a number of factors that can make the difference between a healthy heart and a heart that’s at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Based upon what you do for a living, your heart may be in great shape, or you may need to make some changes.

Working for a Living

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is considered a lifestyle disease. How we spend our days is how we spend our lives, and when unhealthy habits are part of our daily routine, the heart can bear the brunt of our behavior.

Job demands and workplace culture can have a significant impact on our cardiovascular health.

The Metrics of a Healthy Heart

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined a list of indicators that correlate with heart health:

  • Not smoking
  • Being physically active
  • Normal blood pressure
  • Normal blood sugar
  • Normal cholesterol level
  • Being at a healthy weight
  • Eating a nutritious diet

Adults who meet six or seven of these criteria have a significantly low risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but only two percent of the population falls into this category. People who meet two or fewer of these metrics have an elevated CVD risk. The CDC conducted a study on the latter group to find what types of occupations could contribute to poor heart health, and uncovered some interesting results.

Risky Work

Of all professions, social workers and long haul truckers are least likely to have good cardiovascular health. A heightened risk for CVD may very well be the only thing that these two occupations have in common, with 14.6 percent of social service employees and 14.3 percent of transportation employees meeting two or fewer of the heart healthy metrics.