5 Shockingly Unhealthy CareersPosted by On

There are many jobs that are commonly understood to be dangerous to your health. Many people know the risk of these positions and continue to do their jobs diligently nonetheless. After all, we all have to make a living, and many people love what they do.

However, a recent study may cause us to rethink some of the things we thought we knew about which jobs are safe and which are not. While many on the list would surprise no one, many were surprising, to say the least. The top five on the list were particularly shocking, and may cause some to begin looking for new health insurance quotes for individuals.

The information used in determining this list comes from the Occupational Information Network, or O*Net. O*Net is a U.S. Department of Labor database that contains detailed information about hundreds of careers and occupations.

In order to analyze occupations by the possible impact they could have on workers’ health, the researchers used O*Net measures of six different health risks and averaged them together. The types of risk include:

  • Exposure to contaminants
  • Exposure to disease and infection
  • Exposure to hazardous conditions
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Risk of minor burns, cuts, bites and stings
  • Time spent sitting

1. Dentist, dental surgeon and dental assistant

While this certainly comes as a surprise to many, those in the oral occupations spend most of their time seated in front of the open mouths patients. This puts them at a much larger risk of catching airborne infectious diseases than the average person. This is combined with the issues that come with sitting down for work, dealing with sharp instruments and possible contaminants.

Overall Unhealthy Score: 65.4

Top Three Unhealthy Aspects:

  • Exposure to contaminants: 84
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 75
  • Time spent sitting down: 67

2. Flight Attendant

This is seen to be a dangerous position not simply because of the obvious risk of crash; flight attendants are much more likely to be exposed to contaminants and infectious disease than people in other fields. Because they spend most of the work day on their feet inside a giant moving object, they are also at a greater risk of fall and physical injury.

Overall Unhealthy Score: 62.3

Top Three Unhealthy Aspects:

  • Exposure to contaminants: 88
  • Exposure to disease and infections: 77
  • Likelihood of minor cuts, burns, bites or stings: 69

3. Anesthesiologist, nurse anesthetist and anesthesiologist assistant

The ranking of anesthesiologists and their assistants on the unhealthy jobs list is due to similar reasons as those for dentists. However, anesthesiologists are much more likely to be exposed to disease and infections due to the nature of the work. Their patients are more likely to be sick or develop infections. The added risk of radiation infection also plays a role in this position’s position.

Overall Unhealthy Score: 62.3

Top Three Unhealthy Aspects:

  • Exposure to disease and infections: 94
  • Exposure to contaminants: 80
  • Exposure to radiation: 74

4. Veterinarian, veterinary assistant and veterinary technician

Those in this field are at a high level of risk to infection, disease and contaminants. They are also at risk for cuts, bites and stings. This position poses many of the same health risks as those faced by medical doctors, but many treat a wide variety of animals with a larger number of unknown variables.

Overall Unhealthy Score: 60.3

Top Three Unhealthy Aspects:

  • Exposure to disease and infections: 81
  • Exposure to minor burns, cuts, bites or stings: 75
  • Exposure to contaminants: 74

5. Podiatrist

Podiatrists are at a high risk of exposure to disease and possible infections during the treatment of an extremity that is prone to fungus. Also, people don’t always keep their feet particularly clean compared to the rest of their bodies. The regular use of x-ray equipment in the profession also puts them at a high risk of radiation exposure.

Overall Unhealthy Score: 60.2

Top Three Unhealthy Aspects:

  • Exposure to disease and infection: 87
  • Exposure to radiation: 69
  • Exposure to contaminants: 67


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