Google “sales is stressful” and you’ll get 26 million results, including “Sales Is the Most Stressful Job There Is” and “The Daily Grind of Sales.” This likely comes as no surprise to reps, who deal with rejection, less-than-happy customers, and the pressure of quota each and every single day. The real kicker is that salespeople have to keep a smile on their face despite these stressors.
But unfortunately, these pressures can cause more than just stress, as evidenced by new research from the American Health Association. A study of more than 5,550 professionals revealed that sales is one of the least heart-healthy jobs a person can have.
After evaluating participants on critical cardiovascular health measures such as total cholesterol, physical activity, blood pressure, and diet quality, the three least fit professions were ranked as follows:
- Police and firefighters
- Service workers
- Sales, office, and administrative support professionals
When looking at sales employees specifically, “69% did not have ideal total cholesterol” according to an AHA blog post on the study. In addition, 68% of sales, office, and administrative workers in the sample were found to have “poor eating habits.”
However, Leslie MacDonald, lead researcher and senior scientist in the U.S. Public Health Service, National Institute for Occupational Safety, and Health of the Centers for Disease Control was quick to point out that health issues are not a foregone conclusion. To improve cardiovascular health and mitigate risk factors, MacDonald suggested taking “small steps” such as making time for a walk at lunch, and forgoing the elevator in favor of the stairs.
Sales undoubtedly takes a lot of heart, but it can also take a lot out of you. Care for yourself as well as you care for your customers, and you’ll be in good shape.