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Jobs That Require Sitting Increase Risk of Death

Deborah Shipley's picture

According to a study published from the American Cancer Society in the American Journal of Epidemology shows that increased time spent sitting can increase risk of death. This was associated with total mortality—in other words, all causes of death. The time spent sitting was associated without regards to time spent being active. Researchers suggest that individuals spend less time sitting (i.e. standing) and increase physical activity (i.e. exercise).

With that in mind, people may want to consider the jobs they have and its impact on their health and risk of death. As American jobs have transitioned into the information age and away from industrial jobs, the time spent sitting while working has increased.

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According to CollegeToolKit website, the following occupations require the most sitting:

  • Court Reporters
  • Telephone Operators
  • Loan Counselors
  • Tax Preparers
  • Insurance Underwriters
  • Insurance Policy Processing Clerks
  • Statisticians
  • Telemarketers
  • Judges, etc.
  • Sales Agents, Securities and Commodities
  • Computer Programmers
  • Computer Software Engineers
  • Dispatchers
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Editors
  • Technical Writers and more

For those whose jobs require hours of sitting a day, a simple solution may be applied to help offset the increased risk. Stand up!

With some jobs, individuals cannot leave their desk. However, they may be able to stand up, periodically, for ten or more minutes while they work. If you are reading a document for work, stand up while reading and only sit down when you need to type or write. Further, make sure you step away from your desk for all entitled breaks. Most companies give two breaks (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) in addition to a lunch break. Instead of grouping the breaks together for a longer lunch period, keep them broken up so you can use that time to stand more throughout the day or to take a much needed walking break.
If you are a telemarketer or customer service telephone representative, you may have the advantage of having a headset that allows you to stand while taking a phone call. Use that advantage and you can decrease the higher risk of death.

The study focused on leisure time, but it can be presumed that any time spent sitting can be associated with this increased risk. However, if individuals are unable to combat that risk while at work, they should be especially vigilant about how they spend their leisure time. In addition to spending less time sitting, individuals should also spend more time being physically active, which will help combat diseases and disorders like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and others.