Heavy physical labour is associated with heart disease, two new studies suggest.
One study, presented at a recent meeting of the European Society of Cardiology, found having a less physically demanding job was associated with a 20 per cent lower risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
That appears at odds with recommendations to reduce heart disease by exercising. Lead author Dr. Demosthenes Panagiotakos, associate professor of biostatistics-epidemiology at Harokopio University, Athens, explained the results may be because of the stress people with physically demanding jobs experience.
In another study presented at the meeting, researchers from Belgium and Denmark followed 14,000 middle-aged men for three years and also found that those with more physically demanding jobs had more coronary events.
Change diet and exercise together
Modifying both habits at the same time yields the best results, according to a new study from the Stanford School of Medicine.
In fact, focusing on diet first, as many weight-loss programs advise, may actually interfere with establishing an ongoing exercise routine, according to the study, published in the Annals of Behavioural Medicine.
Researchers found people who started with exercise first did a good job of meeting exercise and diet goals, and those who started with their eating habits did a good job of meeting dietary goals, but not exercise goals. Those who did both simultaneously did the best.
Home improvement projects can boost men’s self-esteem
Researchers studying how men develop their masculine identities via do-it-yourself home improvement projects discovered they improve the self-esteem of white-collar or upper-class men.
“For upper class male consumers, DIY home improvement offers the means of unleashing the inner suburban craftsman who relishes in physical labour. In contrast to their day jobs, upper class men enjoy the process of toiling away on various projects and feeling self-fulfilled in the process,” states a press release from the Journal of Consumer Research, which is publishing the study in its August edition.