Is your job killing you?

STAY ACTIVE: Melissa Jackson, a sales associate at Whitney Real Estate, does some stretches between sales.
STAY ACTIVE: Melissa Jackson, a sales associate at Whitney Real Estate, does some stretches between sales. Alistair Brightman

MELISSA Jackson's office job was literally killing her.

The young real estate agent would spend all day in her office chair, eating nothing but junk food.

She has turned her life around since discovering she was well below the recommended fitness level for her age.

But she is not alone in her plight - research by the US Public Health Service shows jobs in sales, office support, service roles and the food industry are the most dangerous to health.

The study showed people aged over 45 are more likely to suffer heart disease and stroke if they work in sales, office support or service occupations, while four-out-of-five office workers did not do enough physical activity.

The news doesn't surprise Melissa who used to dread exercising after a long day.

"Exercise was the last thing I wanted to do after work, I can see how people get stuck," Melissa said.

"I made poor choices and would eat KFC and Golden Chicken," she said.

The 23-year-old now exercises every day including walking and cross fit and her diet is full of fruit and healthy salad choices.

General practitioner and Australian Medical Association chair Shaun Rudd said certain jobs were unhealthy because employees felt stuck to their office chairs, only able to walk as far as the vending machine for lunch.

"Try not to sit for too long at the one time," Dr Rudd said.

"You can also get computer stands so you can work standing up, it's important to move around.

"Always try to bring your own lunch and avoid chips or chocolate from the machine."



  • Go outside as much as possible; fresh air and exercise is not only a good way to stay fit and healthy, but also relieves stress.
  • Bring your own food to work, that way you know exactly what you're eating.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast for energy throughout the day, instead of reaching for the chips.
  • Try to stand up to work when you can and stretch your muscles to avoid cramps and feet swelling.

Topics:  diet exercise health nutrition weight

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