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Experts say a physically strenuous job is no substitute for exercise

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 09/04/2021 Kate Pickles Health Correspondent For The Daily Mail
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Being on your feet all day might mean you think you can get away without exercising.

However, it seems manual work can raise the risk of dying early from heart attacks and stroke by more than a quarter.

Experts believe that those who have physical jobs are less inclined to exercise. In addition, their exertions at work either do not raise their heart rates enough to be beneficial or can raise blood pressure.

a man wearing a hat: Experts believe that those who have physical jobs are less inclined to exercise. A study found those who reported ¿high¿ and ¿very high¿ work activity levels were 13 and 27 per cent more likely to die over ten years © Provided by Daily Mail Experts believe that those who have physical jobs are less inclined to exercise. A study found those who reported ¿high¿ and ¿very high¿ work activity levels were 13 and 27 per cent more likely to die over ten years

The study by the National Research Centre for the Working Environment in Copenhagen of 104,046 women and men found those who reported ‘high’ and ‘very high’ work activity levels were 13 and 27 per cent more likely to die over ten years than those with low levels.

Cases of heart attacks and stroke rose by 15 and 35 per cent, according to the findings in the European Heart Journal.


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Study author, Professor Andreas Holtermann, said: ‘Many people with manual jobs believe they can relax at home. Unfortunately, our results suggest this is not the case.

‘And while these workers could benefit from leisure physical activity, after walking 10,000 steps while cleaning or standing seven hours in a production line, people tend to feel tired so that is a barrier.’

a person standing in front of a brick building: Being on your feet all day might mean you think you can get away without exercising. However, it seems manual work can raise the risk of dying early from heart attacks and stroke by more than a quarter © Provided by Daily Mail Being on your feet all day might mean you think you can get away without exercising. However, it seems manual work can raise the risk of dying early from heart attacks and stroke by more than a quarter

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends physical activity during both recreation and work.

Previous studies have identified a link between occupational activity, heart disease and death.

But they have been too small to fully explain whether this was due to the manual work or because employees had unhealthy lifestyles or low socioeconomic status, such as poor education.

Prof Holterman added: ‘A brisk 30-minute walk will benefit your health by raising your heart rate and improving your cardiorespiratory fitness, while work activity often does not sufficiently increase heart rate to improve fitness.

‘In addition, work involving lifting for several hours a day increases blood pressure for many hours, which is linked with heart disease risk, while short bursts of intense physical activity during leisure raises blood pressure only briefly.’

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