Here’s the paradox:
In general, we know that staying physically active is a good thing. The more exercise the better. Yet many of those who work at physically demanding jobs actually have poorer health outcomes. Why is that?
It turns out that in many cases physically active work comes along with a few health negatives:
- lack of autonomy
- repetitive stress
- low socio-economic status
So, physical activity is good. But not without autonomy, variation, and a sense of social standing.
This is a reminder to anyone who wishes to gain the benefits of the active life:
- choose activities you enjoy
- vary your activities (get off the treadmill, at least some of the time)
- be alert to signs of over-training or burnout
- be grateful for those areas of life in which you’re able to express your autonomy