5 Jobs Proven to Make You Live Longer

Want to live forever? Then it may be time to switch careers. Not all jobs are created equal when it comes to pay, prestige, perks — and the promise of a longer life. Read on for our roundup of gigs that are scientifically inclined to keep your heart beating longer than the rest. Just don't forget to pad your retirement savings appropriately.

1. Firefighter

Ironically, one of the nation's safest jobs requires running into burning buildings. Firefighters die on the job at a low rate of 2.5 per 100,000 workers. That's a full point below the average on-the-job death incidence for all American workers. That may be because we're seeing fewer structure fires and more firefighters are wearing their seat belts, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Firefighters also live longer than any other public employee except police officers, often outlasting the average U.S. life expectancy of 79.

2. Accountant

According to a recent British study, accountants and folks working in similar white collar, middle class professions live longer than people working in any other occupation. In fact, accountants are outliving blue collar workers like builders and cleaners by as many as eight years. Male accountants live to an average of 80, whereas women typically live an additional five years. One reason accountants are living longer is that they have greater control over autonomy compared to different occupations. According to Karen Jochelson, a researcher at health think tank The King's Fund, this includes higher quality housing and food. The average salary of an accountant is $65,080, which affords them greater lifestyle decisions.

3. Jobs That Keep You on Your Feet

Walking tour guides needn't worry. But if you've got a desk job, listen up. Researchers from the American Cancer Society studied the health outcome of 123,216 people during a 14-year period, and what they found very well may shock you out of your seat. Women who sit for more than six hours a day were about 40% more likely to die during the study period than those who sit fewer than three hours per day. Men were about 20% more likely to die. What's even more startling is the revelation that the damage you do to your body while seated cannot be undone. Much the same way smoking harms your lungs, the harm done to your body by sitting for extended periods of time cannot be reversed with exercise. (See also: 11 Attractive Standing Desks You Can Actually Afford)

4. Doctor

When it comes to overall physical, mental, and fiscal health, doctors have the highest wellbeing score in America. "One key factor that contributes to physicians' higher average wellbeing score is related to how they view their workplace," Gallup's pollsters wrote. "Physicians are the most likely to say they use their strengths to do what they do best every day, followed by nurses and teachers." This gives them a sense of self-satisfaction that benefits both the mind and body.

5. Farmer

The same Gallup poll found that farmers are exceedingly healthy when compared to workers in other trades, mainly because the nature of their work is so physically rigorous. Farmers lead all other job groups in weekly exercise, with two-thirds reporting they exercise for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week. As it turns out, sowing seeds and wrangling cattle is pretty darn good for longevity.

Is your job killing you or helping you live longer?

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Guest's picture

Firefighter? C'mon. It's common fact that firefighters suffer from specific forms of cancer due to all the chemical fumes released during a fire.