Jocasta Morrison

Obesity in the medical profession - what you need to know

Guest Blogger Jocasta Morrison is back with her latest findings on how obesity in the medical profession is a problem within the healthcare industry... 

Six out of ten nurses are overweight according to a study led by Dr. Richard Kyle, which makes it clear that weight gain is a major problem in the healthcare industry. However, it’s not just the nurses that are at risk of becoming overweight or obese due to the job - even medical technicians and administrators are at risk. If you’re looking for a job in the medical field, it’s important to know how your weight may be affected while on the job.

“Guest Blogger Jocasta Morrison is back with her latest findings on how obesity in the medical profession is a problem“

How it’s possible

While those in the medical profession may be the first we turn to when we think of a role model for perfect health, that simply isn’t true. While researchers concluded that obesity is partly due to genetics, there are manyother factors that influence one’s weight, such as age, activity levels, overall mental health, and one’s job - especially one in the medical field. A healthcare worker is more susceptible to weight gain over other professions for many reasons. Not only can the job and work environment itself be stressful, but healthcare workers often work during odd hours of the day - which can throw off the body’s natural sleep cycle, affect meal times, and lead to skipping the gym and other exercises. Because of this, many will eat what they can when they have the chance, which can lead to quick, easy, and unhealthy food choices. And, if you’re working the night shift, you may snack around just to stay awake - which can also contribute to unwanted weight gain.

Obesity can affect your job

Just as much as your job can be one of the main factors in your weight, your weight can play a big role in how you perform at work, too. While obesity can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes, it is also the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK and can affect your ability to do your job. If you work directly with patients as a nurse or EMT, you’ll have a harder time with the physical side of the job in terms of lifting and other physical exertion. In general, (despite what role you may have), you may experience shortness of breath and the feeling of getting tired or worn out more easily. Not only that, but obesity and weight gain as a healthcare worker can make it more difficult when communicating with patients who are being seen for such an issue themselves - which is why it’s important for all healthcare workers to take proper care of themselves, as well as their patients.

Caring for yourself

One of the many reasons people join the medical field is because they enjoy caring for others. However, the number one reason that this kind of profession will take a toll on your health is that it will likely come second to your patient. This can lead to skipping breaks, overworking yourself, and improper eating habits that lead to inevitable weight gain. Luckily, there are many ways you can keep your weight under control when having such a job.

Eating healthily and on time may seem impossible when you work in such an industry, though can be made possible through careful planning. Deciding ahead when you take your breaks and bringing your own lunch or dinner are great ways to accomplish this in the workplace. Taking one day to prepare healthy meals for the week ahead is a great idea for those who run on tight work schedules, as you can do so on a day off. And, if you can’t plan your breaks, you’re at least going to have something healthy when you do get the chance to sit down. Making it a point to go to the gym on your days off is also a great way to keep the weight off, and limiting your snacking while on the job can help, too. 

While obesity and overall weight gain is a major concern for those in the medical field, it can be helped and prevented. Despite what your role may be, ensuring that you’re caring for yourself by eating healthy and exercising properly can help you keep your weight under control on the job.

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