Research Suggests that Work is Bad for Your Health, Unemployment Worse

#Workplace

Wed, Apr 18th, 2012 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

A career (which isn't to be confused with "a job") is the modern-day equivalent of prehistoric man's role in a hunting and gathering society. Careers give us purpose, responsibility and ... they're slowly killing us. Researchers theorise that it's not the work itself that's killing us, but the sedentary life-style that promototes unhealthy habits. More interestingly, while there are things that we can do to prevent an early demise from sitting on our asses too long, unemployment, however, "is rarely a path taken willingly. In terms of both number and magnitude, unemployment brings along far greater health risks."

In some ways, office drones have it easy -- they don't face the acute threats that challenge soldiers, firefighters or other people who have an occupational relationship with mortal danger. But as it turns out, desk jockeys face a far more insidious hazard: the swiveling, cushioned time bomb they plant their bottoms on every day.

In a widely publicized study last year that had test subjects walking around in motion-sensitive underwear and eating meals controlled down to the last calorie, Mayo Clinic researchers discovered that inactivity simply due to sitting led to wild swings in metabolism. Other research has shown that those who sit for at least 11 hours a day were forty percent more likely to die within three years -- no matter how much exercise they get.* Even if you're only seated for eight hours a day, your risk of death is still 15 percent greater than someone who sits for half that time.

It's no surprise then, that the standing desk industry is experiencing a wave of interest at the moment. The news is also unequivocally good for workers who spend much of their time on their feet. Cube dwellers, on the other hand? Not so lucky.

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