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A Regular Job Could Kill You (Sooner)

December 3rd, 2007 · Leave A Comment

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Also from England this morning (which seems to be the land of “cheeky” job surveys) comes some sobering news.

If you have a routine job, you’re at greater risk of dying prematurely. In this case, it seems that “routine” is a British euphemism for “regular,” or, at least, the sort of job you don’t need to go to college for.

Men working as bus drivers, car park attendants and labourers are almost three times more likely to die prematurely than chief executives of large firms, it has emerged.

Now, I’m not sure if this is just a British phenomenon, or if these findings are universal.

And it’s unclear to me if this data points to greater on-the-job-site risk of injury and death, or if this survey is addressing a more existential question.

Those aged 25 to 64 in “routine occupations” have a far worse fate than men in more professional jobs, according to a report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

And figures for men aged 30 to 34 in routine jobs – which also include bar staff, cleaners and road sweepers – showed they were 4.5 times more likely to die than officers in the armed forces.

For men aged 25 to 29 in routine occupations, they were 5.1 times more likely to die than men working as doctors, lawyers and architects. At age 60 to 64, this rate fell to 2.3.

Are we examining the health effects of boring, non-intellectual work versus “professional” or office work? I mean, I would imagine that anyone working out of doors or with machinery is more likely to be killed at work than your branch manager sitting in his office eating Cheesesteaks every day. What about repetitive, rote, mind-numbing work? Surely that sort of thing is not limited to blue-collar professions.

I wonder if they have any data on the life-expectancy of people who stare at a computer screen in a poorly-lit cubicle all day, versus someone who works out of doors. That’s the sort of survey I’d like to see.

Men in routine jobs die earlier (Channel 4)

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Tags: Jobs · WorkLife