8 professions that could hurt your heart (and make you fat)

Story highlights

  • Shift workers typically do poorly when it comes to heart health
  • Some 90% of firefighters and police officers in the study were overweight or obese

(CNN)Some people blame their sweet tooth, some blame their couch potato lifestyle, but now something else may be to blame for what's hurting your heart (and/or making you fat): your job.

Scientists presenting their work at the American Heart Association conference on Tuesday found that people in some professions tend to have less healthy habits than others.
To figure this out, researchers looked at seven health habits of 5,566 people over age 45 who did not have a history of heart disease or stroke. Known as "Life's Simple 7" they include blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, fitness levels, diet, smoking and obesity. Here are eight professions that seem to be a challenge for your heart (and your waistline).

    (Early) death of a sales(man)

    The great majority of salespeople in this study seem to be selling their health short, with 68% having poor eating habits and 69% with cholesterol levels bad enough that they'll likely get a lecture from their doctor.

    Take a memo

    Administrative support staff seem to be skipping the gym and they did not have "ideal" levels of physical activity. With only 20.8% of Americans meeting the physical activity guidelines, they certainly are not alone.

    Uniform(ly) bad

    The people who keep us safe are failing to protect their hearts. Many fire and police departments have fitness standards, but 90% of police and firefighters in the study were obese or overweight, 77% had high cholesterol and 35% had high blood pressure.

    Moving on up

    Transportation/material movers tread a dangerous road. While the greater majority of Americans have stopped smoking, these professionals haven't kicked the habit yet. Nearly a quarter smoke, making them the profession that smokes the most of all the jobs studied.

    Stop sampling the merchandise