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CareerBuilder Survey Explores Ups and Downs of Desk Jobs

Worker Chained to a Desk

May 27, 2014

Desk jobs bring with them certain luxuries, such as a nice, temperature-controlled environment and that ergonomically correct desk chair. According to BusinessNewsDaily, there are also a lot of reasons to despise your desk job, and new research proves it.

A new survey from the job search firm CareerBuilder sought to pinpoint ups and downs of working a desk job compared to a non-desk job. According to the results published in a press release by PR Newswire, both desk jockeys and non-desk workers report being equally happy with their roles -- about 76 percent overall -- and also experience virtually the same level of stress. Desk workers, however, are more likely to be overweight than non-desk workers -- 58 percent to 51 percent, respectively. Desk-tied workers told researchers that their biggest job complaints include being too sedentary, staring at a screen all day and being stuck inside all day.

The survey follows another study recently conducted by the University of New England exploring the health downsides of desk work, and the results were discouraging. Researcher John Malouff, an associate professor of psychology at UNE, told The Daily Examiner that desk jobs are as toxic to your health as smoking. In fact, they can shave years off your life, even if you make a point to be active in your off-hours.

"Whether you are sitting at the computer, in front of the television, or commuting to work, sitting still for long hours has been shown to be detrimental to a long life," said Malouff. "Even if you exercise every day and eat a healthy balanced diet, the fact is that the more you sit, the shorter your lifespan is likely to be."

Of course, desk jobs are not all bad. According to PR Newswire, CareerBuilder researchers found that desk workers tend to earn more than their peers without desk jobs and are twice as likely to earn six-figure annual salaries. Those without desks, meanwhile, are twice as likely to earn less than $35,000. They also tend to have better Internet access and a safe working environment. Non-desk workers, by contrast, reported being more prone to burnout, illness and injury and often feel exhausted from being on their feet all day.

Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Relations at CareerBuilder, said in the PR Newswire release that what constitutes an ideal work situation is different for everyone, and that extends to work environment. Where some workers crave the flexibility of a non-desk job, others prefer consistency.

"There are advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios," Haefner said. "With any job, it's important to find a work environment that is suited to your work style and interests and where you can thrive."

The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder earlier this year, reported PR Newswire. Participants included 2,095 people who typically work behind a desk and 1,102 people who do not. Respondents came from a wide variety of industries and organization sizes.


Compiled by Aimee Hosler

Sources:

"Desk jobs as toxic as smoking experts says," dailyexaminer.com, May 12, 2014, http://www.dailyexaminer.com.au/news/desk-jobs-toxic-smoking-new-research-shows/2255620/

"Hate Your Desk Job? You've Got Good Reason," businessnewsdaily.com, May 22, 2014, Chad Brooks, http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6467-hate-your-desk-job.html

"New CareerBuilder Study Explores the Perks and Pitfalls of Working in a Desk Job Vs. a Non-Desk Job," prnewswire.com, May 22, 2014, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-careerbuilder-study-explores-the-perks-and-pitfalls-of-working-in-a-desk-job-vs-a-non-desk-job-260228281.html

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