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10 Most Obese Professions: Our Jobs May Be Making Us Fat

Medical issues aside, it has become pretty clear that maintaining a healthy weight involves healthy eating and exercise. There is another element however, that may be contributing to our weight issues and you may be surprised to find out what it is.

Your profession may be making you obese. And surprisingly enough, the jobs involved aren’t just food service or restaurant industry careers, where employees are surrounded by greasy, unhealthy foods on a daily basis.

Obese professions

According to a 2012 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the top 10 occupations ranked by obesity are the following:

  1.  1)  Transportation
  2.  2)  Manufacturing or production
  3.  3)  Installation or repair worker
  4.  4)  Clerical or office
  5.  5)  Managerial, executive or official
  6.  6)  Service Worker
  7.  7)  Nurse
  8.  8)  Farming, fishing or forestry
  9.  9)  Construction or mining
  10. 10)  Sales

When looking at these results, it’s easy to pick out the professions where there is less physical activity. In the Transportation field, 36.4% are obese. Professions such as these don't usually provide much opportunity for physical activity while driving a bus. But even career fields that we often assume require a great deal of physical activity such as nurse (25.2%) or farming (24.7%) still rate pretty high in obesity.

Other factors used in calculating obesity rates in the Gallup analysis of 139,000 American workers ranged from behavioral and emotional factors, to whether or not the employee had health insurance or visited the dentist annually (with construction and mining workers being the least likely). All of these factors were determined to be linked to obesity in U.S. workers.

Physicians and business owners scored the best in the 3 major predictors of obesity – access to safe places to exercise, ability to afford food, and depression. Service workers scored the worst in affording food, and depression and also tie with farmers as the worst professions for having safe places to exercise.

The professions with the highest rates of obesity also rate highest in stress, job dissatisfaction, and inadequate healthcare benefits. It may be a good time for these professions to evaluate the costs of obesity and the overall well-being of employees.

Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear from you! How can your employer help you to live healthier? Share your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments!

More From PayScale

How Much Does Obesity Cost Employers? [infographic]

American Workers Too Fat?

The 5 Happiest, Healthiest Jobs in America

(Photo Credit: By TobyOtter/Flickr.com)


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