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Why farming and agricultural jobs are good for your health

Posted 25 days ago by Rebekah Shields

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Why do people take jobs in the fast-growing field of agriculture? Reasons include the diversity of opportunities, from driving a tractor to becoming a farming logistics expert. Potential candidates get the chance to work with some of the most advanced technology in the UK and learn skills that will earn them a career for life. But did you know that agricultural workers are among the healthiest in the country? Here’s why.

Regular exercise

Not all agricultural jobs involve manual labour, but many do. Lifting and carrying stock or farming equipment is a great way to keep bones and muscles healthy, as long as it’s done with proper care. Many farming jobs involve a great deal of walking, one of the simplest and most effective ways to get fit and stay fit. Regular walking reduces the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular issues such as stroke or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even coronary heart disease. It also tones muscles and improves general wellness. A farm manager, for example, might find themselves taking a lengthy walk daily to oversee operations or visit the different departments of their working farm. 

Even a support role such as a dairy farm adviser would be expected to drive from farm to farm and may often be active whilst visiting customers or clients. Taking regular walks around dairies and farms keeps the blood flowing and the heart healthy, ensuring more benefits than just the satisfaction of a job well done. 

Improved mental health

A 2016 report has found that being outside and interacting with plants and animals is extremely beneficial for mental health. The NHS has actually taken this report on as part of their treatments for certain mental health conditions. By 2020, the NHS hopes to have 800 ‘care farms’ in the UK, directly supporting patients with mental health concerns by giving them opportunities to work in agricultural jobs. The three main things that they find contribute towards a healthy and happy mindset are farming, environmental conservation, and horticultural roles. Working in any of these fields reduces symptoms of stress, anxiety and even depression. 

This is fantastic news for anyone thinking about moving into the world of agriculture. Many agricultural jobs involve being outside at some point during the working week. Some jobs will be focused more on actual fieldwork, such as the roles of pickers and packers on an orchard. Others might be based partly in the office, and partly out in the field, depending on the level of responsibility and what type of record keeping is required. Simply being out and about and not confined by four walls can be beneficial to a positive mood, and a fast-paced work environment with plenty of opportunities helps you thrive and develop yourself to become the best you can be. Agriculture is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK right now, making this the perfect place to stretch yourself if you’ve found previous roles stagnant or without room for development and growth.

Other mental health benefits include social inclusion because as an agricultural worker you will always be a part of a productive team with clear and precisely defined goals. Working towards these goals together promotes a sense of community, plus improves self-esteem. 

Working with farm animals is thought to be particularly beneficial towards a healthy mind. A team from Norway found that six months spent working with farm animals had a significant positive impact on mood and quality of life. Great news if you’re looking at opportunities such as a shepherd, poultry worker or dairy assistant. 

Making a contribution to societal health

It's not all about the benefits to your own health either. Being part of the agricultural community means you’re making a positive contribution to society, no matter which aspect of agricultural work you’re involved in. All aspects of agriculture contribute towards feeding people or providing them with essential materials, whether you’re a wheat purification expert working in a lab or a poultry worker specialising in bird husbandry. Even a sales representative for a large dairy is helping to continue this process by matching the right products to the right buyers. The whole world needs high-quality, safe food. Agriculture is the key to this, so being a part of it means you’re contributing towards the health of others, as well as yourself. 

Farming is an increasingly ‘green’ endeavour, with a big focus on improving soil quality, reducing emissions, becoming more energy efficient and lowering the levels of waste produced. This includes reusing materials where possible. Agriculture, therefore, contributes both to the economy and the environment, and every year it becomes more and more environmentally friendly. This brings a sense of peace of mind and satisfaction that’s difficult to find in other sectors of the workforce. The knowledge that the work you are doing is making the world a better place is sure to promote a positive outlook.

Another way in which agricultural workers contribute to society is by developing an understanding of the delicate balance of nature, the cycle of the seasons, and the land. Agriculture isn’t about exploiting resources but about making the most of them. This may include knowing how to maximise harvests, understanding crop rotation, learning about animal welfare; a range of different skills and knowledge depending on the specific role. Understanding the impact humans have on the natural world and cultivated farmland is crucial to the future of farming and agriculture. Becoming a part of that ensures the continued future of humanity, for generations to come.

Could a job in agriculture be beneficial to you?

A healthy mind and body naturally complement each other. Feeling physically healthy improves mental health, whilst feeling confident in yourself helps you stay on top of your physical health in return. Working first-hand in the agricultural sector helps you take a holistic approach to being healthy, a benefit which is difficult to find in many other work sectors. If agriculture seems like the right avenue for you to follow, you can do so safe in the knowledge that not only will you be embarking on an exciting career opportunity that may last a lifetime, but that it's one which will reward you with both physical and mental well-being too.

If you are looking to progress your career, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are worldwide recruitment experts in agricultural, food, farming and rural recruitment and have a variety of executive and management positions available within agriculture, horticulture and the food and rural sectors throughout the UK and the rest of the world. To find out more about our agricultural job vacancies and discuss your future career, contact our team of agricultural recruitment professionals. You can visit our website here: www.agriRS.co.uk or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk

Alternatively, if you are a client looking to expand your team, whilst using a professional recruitment / headhunting solution, then please call us today on 01905 345155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk

 

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