Health outcomes and determinants by occupation in Scotland report published On 23 February, NHS Health Scotland published the report ‘Health outcomes and determinants by occupation and industry in Scotland, 2008–2011’.

The report looks at the importance of paid, secure employment in improving health. It also highlights the independent association between household income, health outcomes, and type of occupation and industry.

Employment is an important factor in determining people’s mental and physical health, both for working-age adults and for children.

This research found that some occupations and industries are associated with consistently better health outcomes and determinants, such as;

• managers

• professionals

• protective service occupations, such as police or fire officers.

Other professions are associated with poorer health outcomes, such as;

• Transport

• Caring

• Process

• Customer service

• Elementary occupations

The research also found that industries that may cause a health disadvantage to their employees include land transport, hotels and restaurants, food and beverage manufacturing, and construction. While, industries that may give some health advantage to their workforce include extraction of petroleum and natural gas, education and financial services.

There is a gendered dimension as well. In particular, current or previous employment in professional/managerial occupations does not appear to protect working-age women’s mental health (as it does for men); while for women, household income is relatively more important in (creating) good health.

The report can be accessed here.