Bus Drivers and Nurses Most Likely to be Obese According to Survey

| by
article imagearticle image

A recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll found that bus drivers and nurses were more likely to be obese when compared to other professions.

The sample consisted of 138,438 people ages 18 and over. It found that 36.4 percent of transport workers were obese.

Other professions with a higher amount of obese employees included factory workers, office staff and nurses. The obesity is blamed on poor pay, unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and history of depression.

Ed Watt, a former bus driver who drove for 20 years in Brooklyn and Manhattan, said it is no surprise that his profession resulted in more obese employees.

"First, the sedentary nature of the work, sitting much of the day with the inability to move around, even for bathroom breaks," he said. "The second is the mobile nature of the job leaves poor food choices. So fast food rules. The other factor is that these jobs are highly stressful. The stress of the jobs results from high demand and low control over the work."

"Traffic, people and schedule are all big items that are beyond your control as a driver. As a result of the stress, many are inclined to mal-adaptive coping mechanism."

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that bus driving can trigger many health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic lung disease.

The survey also found that doctors, teachers, and business owners were less likely to be obese. Only 14 percent of physicians demonstrated a BMI higher than 30, which is the clinical definition of obesity.

They cited better pay and medical care as the reason for their healthy physiques.

The study was conducted with phone interviews from January 2 to September 10, 2012.

Participants were asked to give their height, weight and were also quizzed on 26 different lifestyle and psychological factors. They were asked how often they exercised, smoked, if they had a primary physician and if they had a history of depression.

Researchers are now urging those involved in the most obese prone professions to incorporate exercise and activity into their work day. They also said employers should take responsibility to increase the physical activity of their workers by offering gym memberships.

A Reuters report last year found that annual medical costs of obesity total $190 billion in America.

Sources: Daily Mail, Today