Which sectors have the healthiest executives?

A study of over 30,000 medical assessments has revealed the healthiest industries – how does yours rate?

Which sectors have the healthiest executives?
iness leaders from legal firms are generally the healthiest, followed by those in banking and professional services/ consulting, according to a study of over 30,000 medical assessments among 500 organisations across 20 industries in Australia.

These top overall performers however still face psychological risks, with leaders from the two industries ranking 12th and 14th psychologically.

Among the least healthy are executives from construction and engineering, transport, postal and warehousing, and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

Those with a lower health ranking could be at higher risk of chronic diseases. Poor health is also associated with more time off work and reduced performance and productivity.

The Executive Health Index provides a more meaningful comparison for organisations than national norms and enables the pinpointing of key health risk areas that may require specific attention, Executive Health Solutions CEO, John Hall said the index.

“Even industries that did well overall have areas where improvements can be made,” he said.

The index compares objective data -- pathology tests, clinical measurements and validated questionnaire tools -- from executive participants gathered by clinicians.

Dr John Lang, Founding President of the Health and Productivity Institute of Australia and former CEO of the Workplace Health Association of Australia, said previous comparisons has been made with the national average.

“Unfortunately the average Australian is overweight, unfit and has a cholesterol problem – it’s too easy to look good in that company!”

The first report of Executive Health Index looked at four categories – physical, psychological, medical health scores, as well as lifestyle factors -- in assessing executives’ health.
  • Physical health scores are derived from measurements of BMI, waist circumference, flexibility and strength, combined with results from an exercise stress test performed on a treadmill.
  • Psychological health is determined using validated health screening tools, the DASS21 (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Survey) questionnaire and the Epworth Sleep Questionnaire.
  • Lifestyle factors affecting health are assessed using a comprehensive questionnaire including diet, alcohol, smoking and activity.
  • Medical health is evaluated using pathology test results and clinical measurements including blood tests for cholesterol and glucose levels, blood pressure and a lung function test.
“The data analysis approach is thoughtful, comprehensive and effective from a statistical and scientific perspective,” said Professor Louise Ryan, a Distinguished Professor of Statistics at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) who along with her colleague A/Prof Paul Kennedy, endorsed the methodology.

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