Research: Sedentary job tied to increased body mass index


Sedentary job high more a link to the obesity rate than the level of job stress.


Healthcare professionals and researchers have long tied stress and a sedentary lifestyle to elevated body weight. Healthcare professionals, in particular, are subject to higher levels of stress at work, and their jobs are also sedentary. Thus, it would make sense for both of these would impact their health.

In a 2018 medical research study, researchers looked at sedentary lifestyle and stress levels in order to determine their impact on the health and weight of medical professionals. The goal was to determine the correlation between body mass index to job stress and adult eating behavior in health care professionals. To look at adult eating behavior, questionnaires were used to check the eating behavior. The researcher used a job stress questionnaire to check the stress level in obese and non-obese healthcare professionals. The physical activity of the participants is noted to correlate with eating behavior.

The study was observational and was conducted in 262 male and female healthcare professionals. The subjects were 22 years and above with normal, overweight, and obese categories of body mass index. The researchers found a very weak correlation of body mass index to eating behavior and job stress. In particular, a sedentary lifestyle was found to be linked to elevated eating behavior and a higher body mass index.


The bottom line: Sedentary lifestyle is linked to an elevated eating behavior and higher body mass index. Job stress does not appear to be related to body mass index. The study appears to indicate that healthcare professionals should focus more on reducing their sedentary lifestyle and less on stress reduction. Then again, exercise tends to reduce stress, so both could be at play. I recommend that you consider sitting less and walk or stand more.

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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