The research team took data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey and compared it to employees' self-reported weight and height information. People in any industry who worked more than 40 hours per week or were stuck in a hostile work environment were much more likely to be obese. In fact, those who reported bullying saw a 13% higher obesity rate. And, when the team adjusted their findings to include factors like race, age, gender, and smoking habits, health-care professionals still saw a higher-than-average obesity rate — almost 35%. In fact, the only groups with a higher obesity prevalence were bureaucrats and protective-service workers (think policemen and security guards).
The Atlantic points out that although we think of the "health-services" industry as a bunch doctors and nurses who are on their feet all day, it also includes many desk-bound employees, like medical secretaries and social workers. But, the author also notes a previous study compared the obesity rates of "health-diagnosing" professionals, which includes doctors, nurses, and other high-earning individuals who interact directly with patients, and "health-services" professionals — including everyone from surgeons to case workers — found the former had a much lower prevalence obesity. This suggests that income plays a significant role: Those who make more money can afford to buy healthier food, invest in gym memberships, etc.
We could ruminate more on this, but we think it's a good reminder that you should get up and walk around a little bit. Step away from the computer and stretch. (The Atlantic)