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Medicine Science

Scientists Find Physically Demanding Jobs Are Linked To Greater Risk of Early Death (metro.co.uk) 169

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Metro: Researchers in the Netherlands claim that a "physical activity paradox" exists, where exercise may only be good for you if it's done outside of your job. Manual laborers may be physically active all day but that doesn't actually help them. In fact, the research claims that it might actually increase their risk of dying early. "While we know leisure-time physical activity is good for you, we found that occupational physical activity has an 18% increased risk of early mortality for men," says Pieter Coenen, public health researcher at UV University medical centre in Amsterdam. "These men are dying earlier than those who are not physically active in their occupation."

He says that it's all down to the type of exercise you do in your spare time, versus occupational physical activity. When you choose to exercise, you can take rest periods when you want -- something that often may not be available to you if you're working on a building site (for example). The research combined results from 17 studies, dated between 1960 and 2010 -- looking at data on almost 200,000 people.
The study has been published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Scientists Find Physically Demanding Jobs Are Linked To Greater Risk of Early Death

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  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @11:33PM (#56624700)
    Correlation isn't causation. Many physically demanding jobs (fireman, mechanic, building trades) involve more exposure to toxic chemicals than other jobs.
    • by thesupraman ( 179040 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @11:55PM (#56624788)

      Exactly.

      Not to mention the fact that many outside/active jobs are held by lower socio-economic groups, who also tend to die earlier for a wide range of reasons.
      I should check, but do they even adjust for people who die BECAUSE of the job? such jobs hold a much higher rate of job based death, which would
      skew the figures significantly.
      Plus, such people tend to be involved in more risky passtimes as well.

      There would seem to be SO many other factors immediately available, that caliming some mystical difference in the value of the associated exercise
      would be a little... odd perhaps?

      But, ah, here we go.

      Journal of Sports Medicine, basically claiming that sports exercise is good, and other exercise is bad.
      WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )
        >p>It's not hard to imagine a difference though. When you're in the gym and you get winded, you pause for a moment. Do you know what happens if you do that at a physically demanding job? Some a-hole yells at you for slacking and tells you to get back to work or don't bother coming back.

        Also, when is the last time you put in 8 hours a day at the gym 5 days a week?

        Ever heard of over-training? Imagine doing that every week for 20 years.

        About the only people who come close who aren't poorly paid laborers

        • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @07:05AM (#56625762)

          Ever heard of over-training? Imagine doing that every week for 20 years.

          Having experienced over-training personally (I used to be a D1 college athlete) I can state with confidence that very few jobs even among physically demanding ones require the sort of output that would result in over-training symptoms. Stress injuries and wear and tear yes. Extreme fatigue even. But over training requires more output than most people ever will get to even in a physically demanding job. It requires exceeding your body's ability to recover. If you are able to do a job for 20 years you are not in an over-trained condition - you would be in the hospital LONG before then. I understand where you are going with your argument and you are quite right that some jobs can take a tremendous physical toll on the body so I can see what you mean. But rarely in the form of what might be called over-training if we are being technically correct. There are exceptions of course but they are the exceptions that prove the rule.

          About the only people who come close who aren't poorly paid laborers are pro athletes. How many pro athletes can you think of who don't retire well before they turn 60?

          Terrible analogy. Pro athletes typically retire for one of two reasons. 1) Wear and tear on the body including injuries or 2) Declining physical abilities due to age. A pro athlete is one of the very best in the world at their chosen sport and even the best and most fortunate of them aren't going to be able to play at the highest levels much beyond age 40 in any sport and some sports retirement comes much earlier. The reason is that while they might still be very good compared to you or me, their bodies simply cannot perform at the high level necessary to be among the very best in the world. They slow down physically and simply get passed by younger fresher athletes. Age does that to all of us sooner or later. In a skilled trades or other physically demanding jobs you do not need to be among the peak physical performers in the world to still be economically valuable to your company.

          • by Kjella ( 173770 )

            Terrible analogy. Pro athletes typically retire for one of two reasons. 1) Wear and tear on the body including injuries or 2) Declining physical abilities due to age. A pro athlete is one of the very best in the world at their chosen sport and even the best and most fortunate of them aren't going to be able to play at the highest levels much beyond age 40 in any sport and some sports retirement comes much earlier.

            Many of the latter actually continue as casual players/athletes on a hobby basis, their "retirement" is just the end of their professional career and the extreme training to stay at the top. Nobody cares if Maradona or Pelé still kicks a ball or two with a few old buddies or Björn Borg still can swing a tennis racket. I guess it's less for contact sports like boxing or American football, but it's ridiculous to think a bicycle rider will have dropped out entirely just because he's not on Tour de

            • This is true for a lot of activities, and even within my family I have an example that matches yours. I have an aunt who at her peak was the #3 ranked female cyclist in the US, now almost 40 years later she is still a better cyclist than I could hope to be.
          • Ever heard of over-training? Imagine doing that every week for 20 years.

            Having experienced over-training personally (I used to be a D1 college athlete) I can state with confidence that very few jobs even among physically demanding ones require the sort of output that would result in over-training symptoms. Stress injuries and wear and tear yes. Extreme fatigue even. But over training requires more output than most people ever will get to even in a physically demanding job.

            I dunno. As a young man I helped out around a friend's farm. I also played hockey. Now let's talk about baling hay in the barn after harvest. Two different extreme activities.using different parts of the body. But you don't get breaks other than climbing up to the loft after your shoulders scream at you from pitching bales for a half hour and the cruelty of having to pitch higher as the hay level goes up. Then you bake in the heat trapped in the barn, and get covered with chaff.

            Three games a week plus pr

            • Three games a week plus practice plus daily off ice workouts in Hockey at an older age and although it was work, I got to have a minute on, two minutes off to recover. It was a whole different world than if I stopped for a break while baling hay.

              The physical demands of the activity at the level you participated obviously were not enough to surpass your ability to recover. When you over-train you literally experience a decline in your ability to perform. You might be more prone to injuries but what's really happening is that your body simply cannot rebuild from the stresses faster than you are piling them on. Do this for long enough and stuff starts to break. It's not just that an activity is hard - you have to do it for an extended period of ti

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            It requires exceeding your body's ability to recover.

            Many laborors experience that. They start out OK on Monday, but by Friday they;re waking up in pain and it doesn't really go away. They get to recover a bit over the weekend, but by the next Monday, they can't really be said to have fully recovered, just mostly recovered.

            As for pro athletes, they generally retire before their peak performance falls off. They can be as good as they ever were at times, but they simply cannot do it day after day for any length of time any more.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          p>It's not hard to imagine a difference though. When you're in the gym and you get winded, you pause for a moment. Do you know what happens if you do that at a physically demanding job? Some a-hole yells at you for slacking and tells you to get back to work or don't bother coming back.

          I think you're on the right track here. The difference between getting injured on the job and injured doing something fun, notwithstanding the availability of worker's comp, is that at work, you feel pressured to return to

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This is it in a nutshell. The people who work the most physically demanding jobs do so because they don't have the options for something else. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of master craftsmen who aren't averse to some hard physical work, but that's a often a job they love. I've spent plenty of time around people who do physically demanding work that is ultimately unrewarding and exhausting, leaving no real energy desire to pursue anything in their own time. Too often, it's extremely enticing to seek

      • by Jon Peterson ( 1443 ) <jon@nospAm.snowdrift.org> on Thursday May 17, 2018 @04:21AM (#56625488) Homepage

        Have you read the paper? No you haven't. Because the paper raises all the issues you have. Only better, in more detail, with some facts and numbers. Because you know, *science*

        • Read the paper (Score:5, Informative)

          by JBMcB ( 73720 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @08:48AM (#56626110)

          1. It's a meta-study, so they grabbed data from a variety of other studies, ie the data had to be "massaged" to get it to line up properly
          2. It only found a difference in men, not women, which is odd
          3. There were studies they rejected that showed there was no difference, or an inverse correlation
          4. It found an 18% difference, which...
          5. Isn't clear if it's significant or not, since they list their confidence interval but not their p-value.

          So, yeah, not a slam-dunk finding here.

          • Most health studies shouldn't be considered statistically significant unless you see something like a factor of 2 or 100%.
          • 2. It only found a difference in men, not women, which is odd

            Women don't do physically demanding jobs, at least not at the level of men.

            • 2. It only found a difference in men, not women, which is odd

              Women don't do physically demanding jobs, at least not at the level of men.

              Or they are too smart to kill themselves doing them.

        • Have you read the paper? No you haven't. Because the paper raises all the issues you have. Only better, in more detail, with some facts and numbers. Because you know, *science*

          That can't be! It's impossible to consider confounding factors until you publish the paper and receive Slashdot input.

      • Exactly.

        Not to mention the fact that many outside/active jobs are held by lower socio-economic groups, who also tend to die earlier for a wide range of reasons.

        This reminds me of when I worked at a warehouse several years ago. I'd place a lot of the bad physical toll of work on giving the workers extra stress of things such as: "YOU'RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH DONE. PEOPLE MADE MISTAKES. SOMEONE IS GOING TO GET FIRED," constantly at the job. People either stressed super hard, or didn't care because "Well they'll probably fire me sometime soon anyway so why should I worry?" and just gave up on everything. Plus most workers there tended to eat fast food every day for lun

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Correlation isn't causation.

      Correct. It might be that those with a lower life expectancy for other reasons, like poverty during childhood, more often end up in physically demanding jobs.

      • Correct. It might be that those with a lower life expectancy for other reasons, like poverty during childhood, more often end up in physically demanding jobs.

        Or the simplest solution might just be correct: That hard work will wear you out. I know it does me.

        • Or the simplest solution might just be correct: That hard work will wear you out. I know it does me.

          Next time, try putting down the coffee cake and Mountain Dew beforehand.

        • Or the simplest solution might just be correct: That hard work will wear you out. I know it does me.

          If you're playing volleyball, and you start having chest pains, it's customary to stop. If you're working to pay the rent so that your family can have a place to live, and you start having chest pains, you might just try to push through it... and die. If you're powerlifting weights in a gym they're on a bar and you've probably got a mat. If you're lifting four hundred pounds of transmission, you can easily drop it on your leg. And so on, and so on.

      • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

        Correct. It might be that those with a lower life expectancy for other reasons, like poverty during childhood, more often end up in physically demanding jobs.

        Or it could have something to do with the culture of manual labor jobs like general contractors and sub-contractors often involve people that chain smoke Marlboro Reds and having a poor diet, at least in the USA.

    • Correlation isn't causation. Many physically demanding jobs (fireman, mechanic, building trades) involve more exposure to toxic chemicals than other jobs.

      I don't even think it's that.

      This is one of those studies where I think "they're professional researchers who must have done proper controls", but at the same time the class of people who do physically demanding jobs are exactly the people I'd expect to be at risk of early death regardless of the job itself.

      It sounds like they didn't make a lot of adjustment for socioeconomic status since they figured that physical labour might be a reason why they die younger:
      Another explanation for the association of occu

      • Cause of death (Score:4, Informative)

        by GrimSavant ( 5251917 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @01:24AM (#56625080)
        It seems like an important detail missing from the article is what the causes of death are that increase for the more physically active jobs. Are they dying more from natural causes, or accidents or something else?

        An obvious hypothesis for a potential cause of early death would be if the higher physical activity jobs had much higher accident rates, since a lot of the jobs that come to mind involving a lot of physical activity have more obvious workplace dangers than someone working at a desk job. For example, it seems a lot more likely for a construction worker or a roof cleaner to fall to their death than it would for a programmer, and the path of causation would be due to the particular type of physical activity rather than the job being more physically active.

        This study seems to be really focused on the cardiovascular effects, but it seems like there could be lots of potentials for causation beyond the one they are focused on, and it's not obvious what their controls were. The generalized increased risk of mortality numbers seem like they may be less informative than focusing on more specific numbers for particular health risks and causes of death, though the overall numbers are useful for life insurance underwriters.
        • Re:Cause of death (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Jon Peterson ( 1443 ) <jon@nospAm.snowdrift.org> on Thursday May 17, 2018 @04:26AM (#56625492) Homepage

          "It seems like an important detail missing from the article is what the causes of death are"

          The paper explicitly looks at all-cause mortality (ie, it doesn't differentiate causes of death), and mentions that additional studies that do look at causes of death would be beneficial.

          The usual problem is that as you start dividing populations up by more factors, the population groups get a bit small for valid statistics. Remember they've already removed a range on confounding factors to find populations who differ only by the type of work they do. Remember also this is a meta-analysis and they are reliant on the original underlying studies recording mortality in ways that are both adequately detailed, and reasonably consistent across studies.

          • At the top of the page it says it is a meta analysis of 193696 people, and in the follow ups on deaths there were 29639 deaths, so that seems like that should be large enough samples to not run into the sample size issues that you mention as long as you don't get too far into the weeds with subdividing the populations. Here are the leading causes of death for the general US population [cdc.gov], presumably the early mortality in this study would have a different profile than that of the general population, but even f
    • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @01:07AM (#56625012)

      Ancient Roman athletes were in excellent physical condition, ate a healthy, mostly vegetarian diet, received the best medical care available and were outside a lot in fresh air.

      Yet, a lot of them seemed die young.

      Maybe we need to do some more research into the sport of Gladiators to fully understand this.

      • by zifn4b ( 1040588 )

        Ancient Roman athletes were in excellent physical condition, ate a healthy, mostly vegetarian diet, received the best medical care available and were outside a lot in fresh air.

        Get off your vegan soap box. They ate KETO diet, that's why.

    • Correlation isn't causation.

      Absolutely true but if you RTFA (I know that's not expected!) right at the end they suggest a reason which is that the jobs they looked at require 8 hours of continuous activity vs. the 0.5 hours or so of typical leisure activity. Apparently, "continuous activity works to actually inhibit our cardiovascular system, not improve it" according to the article. Of course, this possible cause will require more data to establish.

    • From the abstract :

      The results of this review indicate detrimental health consequences associated with high level occupational physical activity in men, even when adjusting for relevant factors (such as leisure time physical activity). These findings suggest that research and physical activity guidelines may differentiate between occupational and leisure time physical activity.

      They directly state that they have observed "association".
      They are only suggesting that physical activity guideline should take into

    • Correlation isn't causation.

      Not always but it certainly can be. If two things correlate strongly enough in many cases there is a causal relationship there too. You never have a causal relationship without a correlation as well. Smoking both correlates with and causes cancer. Correlation CAN indicate causation - just not always and the correlation is typically the evidence we see first. It's an indicator that further study is possibly warranted to see if a causal relationship exists. We knew there was a correlation between smokin

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You should contact the researchers, as I am sure the fact that correlation does not imply causation never occured to them and led them to completely fail to take this into account when analysing the data

    • There is really no causation, only repetition:

      "In one of the most brilliant papers in the English language Hume made it clear that what we speak of as 'causality' is nothing more than the phenomenon of repetition. When we mix sulphur with saltpeter and charcoal we always get gunpowder. This is true of every event subsumed by a causal law — in other words, everything which can be called scientific knowledge. "It is custom which rules," Hume said, and in that one sentence undermined both science and phi

    • how many of those physically demanding jobs also have voluntary, yet steady access to things like "a sixer per night", or "hush puppies"?

      Most of the blue collar/tradesmen i've known are basically sedentary after work (which makes sense), and so, so many also drank like fish, smoked, and ate shitty food.

      (Not to mention that postmen are pretty frequently trotted out as an example of physical activity at work increasing lifespan/quality of life -- since they you know, walk almost all day, every day)

    • by mysidia ( 191772 )

      Actually.. SOMETIMES correlation IS the result of causation; causation is ONE possible thing that can lead to correlation.... SOME physically demanding jobs involve more exposure to toxic chemicals; However, it is far too few jobs to explain this correlation, and due to OSHA requirements, safety precautions are required.

      The concept in the summary is interesting When you choose to exercise, you can take rest periods when you want -- something that often may not be available to you if you're working

  • Those who exercise heavily, such as lots of running and weight lifting, even as just a hobby, also tend to die early.

    There's a sweet spot in the middle that is the ideal.

    • There's a sweet spot in the middle that is the ideal.

      My sweet spot is on the couch.

      • There's a sweet spot in the middle that is the ideal.

        My sweet spot is on the couch.

        Don't you let her sit in a chair, or anything? Patriarchist! :D

        Strat

        • Don't you let her sit in a chair, or anything? Patriarchist! :D

          We were talking about sweet spots, not wet spots.

      • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

        My sweet spot is on the couch.

        Kind of hard to fit a couch into a casket.

        • Kind of hard to fit a couch into a casket.

          My wife says she'll just put the couch and me onto a raft and float me out to sea while she shoots flaming arrows at it. I actually think that's kind of poetic, but I'm hoping she waits until I'm dead.

    • Those who exercise heavily, such as lots of running and weight lifting, even as just a hobby, also tend to die early.

      I'm sure you tell yourself that every time you need an excuse to not go to the gym too.

  • Digercise. (Score:5, Funny)

    by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @12:00AM (#56624824)

    Send you membership fee today and join digercise. The first exercise program that pays you to workout.

    For your $200 membership fee you will receive a high leverage earth moving device and the location of the nearest digercise exercise center (Located conveniently in the front parking lot of your nearby Home Depot or Lowes). Go there and wait, someone will pull up in a truck and offer you 'trafalga', which is digercise lingo for exercise. At the end of the day, you will receive cash...half of which is your to keep, send the other half to digercise.

    When signing up, be sure to ask about upgraded earth moving devices.

  • It is not the job that places workers under threat, in is the work environment. You can do the same job in different environments and the threat of injury will be much greater in one than the other. So maintenance in an existing building, in a controlled environment with low risk from the activity of other employers versus similar work on a building site, with high risk from other employees. Plenty of ways to die on a building site, a slip or trip or stumble goes from being an ouch in the office to death an

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @12:37AM (#56624900)
    I seem to remember him writing about this and how when he was a day laboring he drank hard to deal with the pain from getting beat up. Maybe I'm mixing up my American writers, but the point is this is hardly new information.

    It's a problem now because:

    a. We have the tech to keep these people alive past 55 if we want.

    b. Except for a few genetic freaks they can't work much past 55 but our retirement age is 67.

    c. We know we have the tech and if we don't use it we know we're letting them die 10-20 years younger.

    Doctors have been giving these folks phony disability papers because while they can technically function enough to work they're so much less productive nobody wants to hire them and they quiet frankly shouldn't be working in the shape their in. Even if they get jobs they're likely to hurt themselves and/or the people around them. But America being a "If you don't work you don't eat" kind of country there's not a lot of options. Thing is that's not gonna last. Sooner or later folks'll notice them "cheating" the system and come down on them (and their doctors) like a ton of bricks.

    The right thing to do is to recognize they've given 20-30 years of service to our civilization and take care of them, but try explaining that to the "Taxes are theft" [peacock-panache.com] wing of the right.
  • by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @12:38AM (#56624902) Journal

    The study also fails to take into account workplace accidents

    Men do dangerous jobs. Men die doing dangerous jobs. Mining, construction, military. Men have higher rates of suicide, depression, alcoholism and smoking.

    the fact that researchers concluded that women aren’t really affected by this disparity may well be explained by the fact that most women are going to be working in moderately active roles (salons, shops etc) rather than working on building sites.

    So lets talk about this disparity when women start doing dangerous jobs.

    For now, lets file the whole "Exercise may only be beneficial when it’s done outside your job" into the "dubious" section and remember that when we were primates we moved around so much that we started walking on two legs.

    • Men do dangerous jobs.

      Women also do dangerous jobs:

      They live with men!

      I, for one, would not want to live with myself, and would consider it as dangerous.

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        Men do dangerous jobs.

        Women also do dangerous jobs:

        They live with men!

        True, however it looks like it can be fatal for men too [mensdivorce.com]. I think we need to look objectively at the facts we have. Men are more disposable in society than women because they can't have babies. So maybe a little compassion and fact is something we can start to consider spreading around.

    • So lets talk about this disparity when women start doing dangerous jobs.

      You gotta be fucking kidding me:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Samples space { "blah" } = card(1).

        Confidence interval, ~0.

        Statistical relevance: 0

        You post: pointless.

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        So lets talk about this disparity when women start doing dangerous jobs.

        You gotta be fucking kidding me:

        No, I am not. [statista.com] For industrial death it's roughly 100:1, males:female.

        Here are the statistics for Gender differences in suicide [wikipedia.org] as well. Roughly 4:1 M:F.

        You example is an outlier.

      • So lets talk about this disparity when women start doing dangerous jobs.

        You gotta be fucking kidding me:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Your micronceptions about statistics is so bad I feel you need to get a medal for it. Honestly, it's hard to be more wrong than you are right now.

    • So lets talk about this disparity when women start doing dangerous jobs.

      While I know this will vary by workplace, I can at least say that I've seen women be demanded way less in a warehouse job before. At the same position and pay, they were always given the less physically demanding jobs in the warehouse. If they didn't want to lift a box, then any other man could be called over and told to pick it up for them. Don't want to? Too bad, want to be written up for not doing your job? Also men were still expected to meet various production numbers while doing any physical labor t

  • Manual laborers will be classed as 1099'er now to get out the workers comp and under gop health bill will be the next pre existing condition

  • by morethanapapercert ( 749527 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @12:43AM (#56624928) Homepage
    This is a meta-study, a little under 200,000 participants across 26 studies that specifically includes "all causes" which means it includes on-the-job accidents. Physically demanding jobs also tend to be physically risky jobs as well. How often does an office worker to work at heights or in cramped, enclosed spaces? White collar workers also only travel to and from work about twice a day. Your average plumber/electrician/contractor/etc is travelling to multiple places everyday. (and couriers even more so) A fact which dramatically increases the risk of being in a motor vehicle accident. (MVA's being one of the top if not *the* top cause of accidental death in industrialized countries.)

    I note that, in this study, they did attempt to control for age, smoker or non and socio-economic factors, but there is no mention of controlling for level of risk inherent in those jobs. A better follow up study would take that same data set and control for established accident rates within each occupation. I believe that once you control for the accident rate the plumber/electrician/contractor fields have, the difference in life expectancy will shrink or even disappear altogether.

  • by cyberzephyr ( 705742 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @01:44AM (#56625138) Journal

    Doh!

    A quote from Homer Simpson.

  • might not be good for a worker who is "fit" and "outside" all day...
    Wondering around all day fixing pipes that leak toxic chemicals might not be good all day.
    Teaching wealthy people how to surf, climb a mountain, ride a horse would rank as?
  • ... are dangerous.

    This scientific insight was brought to you by the Captain Obvious research institute.

  • Let us state this simple. Dealing with reality leads to real consequences. This is why violence works and why people who do physical jobs die earlier.
  • by Jahid ( 938735 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @04:34AM (#56625500) Homepage
    The university in question is the "Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam" or "VU Amsterdam", so not "UV" as the summary now says. Specifically it's the "VU University Medical Center" (https://www.vumc.com/).
  • have you seen the lifestyle of most of these physically demanding job workers? it is hardly healty and even though they get a lot of excersize most of them also don't look very muscular or thin.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      don't look very muscular or thin.

      Stop using GQ models as a benchmark for fitness.

  • by Subm ( 79417 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @07:16AM (#56625790)

    Here's another place men dominate in the workplace: on the job injuries and deaths. Where's the #metoo movement on equality there?

    I don't know why men don't start a #metoo movement around injury and death prone jobs. And jobs that are migrant, outdoor, physically demanding, and other things that make them more grueling.

    #injuredtoo

    • maybe #notyoutoo
    • squashes such things with the help of the same right wing government. Remember Occupy Wall street? Parts of the patriot act were used to quash it and the media didn't say a peep. Our media leans left on a few social issues but when it comes to money and the economy they're hard, hard right. Good luck getting any coverage of anti-union behavior out of them either while you're at it.
  • Taubes uses a couple of well-studied populations of manual laborers (one group I think includes oil field workers) who have high levels of obesity in trying to disassociate physical activity from weight gain. Taubes primary thesis is that excessive carbohydrate consumption leads to obesity.

    Since most physical labor is done by low-income people and carbohydrate foods are cheaper than meats and high-fat/protein sources, it seems to be pretty easy to connect the dots. Being poor leads to a diet which contri

  • by ledow ( 319597 )

    Not being active is bad for your health.

    But nobody has ever been able to prove that being MORE active than normal is somehow magically BETTER than just being active.

    Same for everything - not having enough vitamins is bad (malnutrition). But eating more of them than a normal person requires doesn't turn you into Superman.

    And it works in reverse. Eating too many fatty foods is bad. But it doesn't mean that cutting out fatty foods entirely is any better than just eating sensibly.

    Moderation in everything.

  • Of course I couldn't be bothered to Read The Fine Article, but did they consider the possibility that people who have to do manual labor for a living generally have a less healthy lifestyle than knowledge workers?
  • Hard physical labor can decrease your life span. Thanks, Defenders of the Obvious.

  • by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @12:46PM (#56627702) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure everyone here has done some kind of physical work, such as moving furniture, and a lot of people have been involved in things like building a house. So it should be quite obvious how different the physical actions are compared to exercise for health and fitness. There are high static loads in uncomfortable positions, vs. smooth repetitions of smaller weights you might do at the gym. There's usually very little aerobic exercise, though you generally need some level of aerobic fitness to cope with the work.

    With exercise, you can forget about getting $project done, and focus on your body. It's a very different goal so obviously you'll do things differently.

  • Um, is this obvious or just me? Of course people die early when they have physically demanding jobs - what did they think their aching bodies were telling them? Exercise really isn't all that great past a certain point.
  • Design your life to fit your goals for fitness (physical, emotional, mental, social). I designed my life so I have some periods of rest and some periods of intense physical activity and some periods of more gentle physical activity. Rinse and repeat each day, each week and around the seasons. It keeps me healthy and I suspect I'll be in the longer lived group.

    But, there's another factor - ancestors. Pick them well.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

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