White vs. Blue
May 27, 2020
People with physically demanding jobs take more sick leave. They also have higher unemployment rates and shorter work lives, a new Danish study finds.
"This study showed that high physical work demands are a marked risk factor for a shortened expected working life and increased years of sickness absence and unemployment," study co-author Lars Andersen and colleagues wrote. Andersen is with the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen.
The difference was much smaller than what I expected.
For men age 30, working life would be expected to last almost 32 years for those with physically demanding jobs and nearly 34 years for those with physically undemanding jobs. Among women, the figures were just over 29.5 years and nearly 33 years, respectively, according to the researchers.
Old high school teachers and professors almost always have the option to teach a course or two in a given semester. Retired laborers, however, would seriously injure themselves in their old jobs. I knew a mathematics teacher whose husband was a car mechanic. They didn't need the money but he just loved his work. Eventually he had to give in as the body couldn't take the toll. A few years later, she retired as well. Funny, how that anecdote fits the data.