POSTED: September 30 2016
Line of work relates to heart health, reveals Bupa UK

Line of work relates to heart health, reveals Bupa UK

On World Heart Day, research from Bupa UK has found that there is a relationship between jobs and heart health, and workers who aren’t offered workplace health initiatives have hearts up to 2.4 years older than their real age.

For Hearts at Work, a campaign created by Bupa and the World Heart Federation, over 60,000 people globally took a heart age check, including 11,000 respondents from the UK.

“Heart age” is a simple, cost-effective way to determine risk of heart disease. The check calculates the user’s heart age based on personal health details such as blood pressure, family medical history, and lifestyle risk factors such as smoking.

Different occupations and heart health in the UK

The data from the check found that teachers and those working in medicine had the best heart health.

Medical professionals had a heart age 1.6 years younger than their real age on average, whilst the ages for teachers is the same.

On the other hand, manual workers and employees within the transport and logistics and construction sectors were found to have the worst heart health, with lifestyle risk factors for heart disease such as smoking being extremely high within these industries.

Nearly a third (30%) of manual workers who took the heart age check smoked vs. 13% of medical professionals – the lowest smoking rates out of all professions who took the test.

Furthermore, those taking the test who smoked were found to have heart ages eight years older than their real age – demonstrating how damaging smoking is to heart health.


UK jobs with the best heart health Average difference – physical age and heart age
Medical based profession -1.6
Marketing, advertising and PR -0.3
Teaching and education -0
Law -0
Accountancy, banking and finance +0.8


 UK jobs with the best heart health  Average difference – physical age and heart age
 Manual labour +3.9
 Transport and logistics +3
 Construction +2.4
 Engineering and Manufacturing +2.3
 IT and informatino services +1.8


The research also showed that the heart age of people whose employers offer workplace health initiatives tends to be lower.

Respondents were asked whether their employer offered healthy eating choices, digital health tools, gyms, stop smoking services, and mental health services such as counselling.

The research found that respondents who had no workplace health initiatives offered to them had a heart age 2.4 years older than their real age compared with those who were offered all such healthy initiatives – a meaningful increase.

Dr. Fiona Adshead, Chief Wellbeing Officer at Bupa said: “The data from the heart age check confirms what we’ve known for some time – that people’s health varies with job type and economic sector; and is related to a number of different factors such as socioeconomic determinants, lifestyle and the physical environment.”

“However, it also shows that employers can have a significant impact on the health of their employees by making relatively small changes. Whilst not all businesses may have the resources to put into place extensive workplace health programmes, even small provisions like digital health tools or stop smoking services can make a big difference in helping employees be heart-healthier and more heart-aware.

“Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death globally and with half of the world’s population in work, employers have a huge opportunity to support their employees in having longer, healthier, happier lives.”

Johanna Ralston, CEO of the World Heart Federation commented: “This World Heart Day, we’re encouraging people everywhere to think about how they can improve their heart health – just a few simple steps such as eating more healthily, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking can improve your heart health and your overall well-being. Employers can play a big part in helping their employees do this.”

The concept of ‘heart age’ was created to help people to improve their perception of their heart attack or stroke risk, and provide motivation to change their lifestyle, as heart disease is the number one cause of death globally. The Hearts at Work API was created by Habit Partners.

To test your heart age and get tips for heart health, visit: