Occupational hazards abound in the modern workplace. There are jobs that tend to wreak havoc on workers’ physical, mental and emotional well-being. A new poll that surveyed how working adults feel about their jobs revealed that the Top 3 with negative effects on health are those in retail outlets, construction/outdoor work, and factory or manufacturing.
Recently conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the poll uncovered that about 43 percent of working adults stated that their jobs up their stress levels; 28 percent said that their jobs have negative effects on their eating habits; 27 percent indicated a negative impact on sleeping habits; and 22 percent noted the undesirable effect on weight.
Interestingly, many of the workers still report for work even if they feel unwell, and despite paid leave, mainly because of a heavy workload, or the belief that working more may help them move ahead in their careers.
The challenges that may be detrimental on health may have something to do with physically demanding or monotonous tasks, an unsafe work environment, extreme mental or emotional labor. You may have heard about the hellish conditions encountered by chicken processing plant workers, or the health-destroying harsh chemicals that lots of people who work in manufacturing plants get exposed to. Or maybe frontline service industry employees, like the stewardess who is berated by irate plane passengers, or the supermarket cashier being mistreated by customers, come to mind.
It is important to note that work-related stress and other negative effects on health of certain jobs may be related to any of the following:
- working excess hours
- not taking breaks during the working day
- hanging on to a job out of obligation rather than love for it
- long commutes to and from work
- being ostracized, bullied or demeaned by colleagues or higher-ups
There are many other possible, and sometimes interconnected reasons why certain jobs end up posing health risks. The best defense, especially for those in service industries who face numerous customers every passing day, is a positive mindset coupled by a robust body. As for all the extraneous factors that have negative effects on health, at the end of the day it is really up to you, as worker, to figure out how to put a stop to what may be ailing you.
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