Occupation Vs. Life Expectancy
Unfortunate as it maybe some jobs allow for a greater life expectancy than others. Of course, there are all sorts of factors, other than employment, that have an effect on life expectancy that need to be taken into account, too. These include genetic predisposition to a long life as well as environmental factors, like living outside of a polluted city. Data from 2008-10 via the Guardian, shows the disparity in North / South life expectancy, which would indicate socioeconomic factors coming into play as Kensington (in the biggest city) has the longest life expectancy in the U.K. On a micro level, whether you smoke and drink will also have some part to say in the outcome. Nevertheless, what job you have chosen to do will also be an important part what makes up your life expectancy.
The UK government’s own statistics demonstrate that some types of profession can mean that people doing those jobs could – on average – expect to live up to eight years longer than other forms of employment, such as building. Figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown that life expectancy among all people has risen since the seventies. However, this trend has been more pronounced among skilled non-manual workers. Nevertheless, it is professional people, such as doctors and accountants who can expect to live the longest. Of this group, women can expect to live well into their mid eighties. On the other hand unskilled labourers, such as cleaners and messengers, have the lowest life expectancy. For men in this group it is as low as 72 years of age.
One factor that needs to be taken into account is occupational health, more specifically how easy or difficult it is to maintain good health whilst carrying out work. Nurses, for example, often suffer from injuries sustained whilst lifting patients, although good training can mitigate for this. Unchallenged or overworked clerical staff have it no easier and can suffer work-related health problems such as stress and eye problems caused by computer glare. Getting the right balance between different sorts of environments, posture and work types seems to be the key to long life expectancy which is why skilled professionals seem to be ahead of other people in the work force.
There are some professions which buck the trend and this is largely because they have an element of risk or danger inherent in the type of work undertaken. A good example of this would be a fire fighter or a police officer who may face dangers on a regular basis that other people never come across in a lifetime. Outdoor pursuits also have a negative outcome on life expectancy, mostly due to industrial accidents. This includes farm work, logging and those involved with the fishing industry. Remember that even if an accident in the workplace does not kill it can cause life expectancy to drop after retirement.