How Your Job May Be Putting Your Heart At Risk

General Medical

Tammy George

With the number of waking hours we spend working, it’s no wonder our job can impact on our health. One of the main areas of concern for many workers is the risk of heart disease.


If your role is a highly stressful one, then your heart may suffer. Being under constant stress means your body is making the stress hormone cortisol. Adrenaline and cortisol can help you get the work done and if the stress occurs occasionally, it’s not a problem. It's when you are under stress that it increases your risk of heart disease.      

What You Can Do

Find strategies for managing your stress. Try meditation, getting more exercise, change your role or type of work you do. Speak to your manager if the high workload is part of the problem. Ask your GP about strategies that can help you better manage the stress.   

Sedentary Job

Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day does nothing for our heart health. Even if you exercise before or after work, it is the long periods of sitting that makes office work dangerous.

What You Can Do

Try a standing desk. By spending some or all of your work day on your feet you will use more muscles than if you were sitting. Encourage colleagues to have standing or walking meetings. If you can’t remember to take regular breaks from your desk set a timer to remind yourself. Go outside to get some fresh air, stretch your legs by walking around the block several times a day. Try to walk a little further to and from work to increase your daily steps and take the stairs whenever you can.  


Not all active jobs are free of the risk of heart disease. Often it’s not the type of work that is the problem, it's the lifestyle. Rather than take a healthy lunch, a tradesperson is more likely to buy takeaway junk food. Tradies working outside can find more time to smoke and are more likely to work with people who smoke. An office worker has to spend time leaving their desk to go outside to smoke. A tradesperson is also more likely to drink alcohol regularly after work with workmates.

What You Can Do

It’s important to feel a part of your work team but that doesn’t mean you need to drink and smoke together. Try quitting smoking by seeing your GP or calling the Quitline. Instead put together a team and take up sport after work on a night you would usually have a drink. This way you are still socialising but in a healthy environment.

By making a few lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and enjoy better overall health.


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Tammy George

Please note: Tammy's blog is general advice only. For further information on this topic please consult your healthcare professional.

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