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Accountants top psychological tests, falter on health and lifestyle

Accounting professionals are the group with the least reported instances of depression, anxiety and stress among a list of 20 industries but are not faring as well on physical health and nutrition, according to a new health index.

Professional Development Jotham Lian 25 October 2017
— 1 minute read

The inaugural Executive Health Index examined executive level professionals from over 500 Australian organisations across 20 industries, with data from 30,000 medical assessments used to track the health of each sector.


Accounting executives fared the best in psychological health, topping the charts following results from the DASS21 Depression, Anxiety Stress Survey and the Epworth Sleep Questionnaire.

The accounting sector was ranked fourth for overall health based on data from 28 health parameters across four main indices; psychological, medical, physical health, and lifestyle factors.

The overall health ranking was topped by the legal, banking, and professional services and consulting industries.

Despite scoring well psychologically, accountants fell behind on lifestyle factors — including exercise levels, nutrition, smoking and alcohol consumption — coming in at seventh, behind the banking and legal sectors.

Accountants also fell outside the top five for physical health consisting of waist measurement, BMI, abdominal strength, lower back and hamstring flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness  coming sixth in the rankings.

Executive Health Solutions chief executive, John Hall, said overall health was important because it contributed to performance and productivity, with the impacts amplified when leaders were affected.

“This index is unique in capturing and comparing data exclusively from an executive group. It allows organisations to see where the risks are and where improvements can be made,” Mr Hall said.

“The accounting sector, for example, did well overall but has room for improvement in nutrition.”

Institute of Public Accountants chief executive Andrew Conway, welcomed the findings, saying that accountants had to ensure their own health was being looked after despite the urge to put clients first.

“Accountants have a very important role to monitor the wellbeing of their clients whilst maintaining a close eye on their own wellbeing,” Mr Conway said.

“Taking a proactive approach to health in the workplace is so much more than seeking to improve productivity of your team. 

“Providing opportunities for your team to maintain focus on the most important things such as health, wellbeing and family, demonstrates a genuine commitment to the people you work with.”

Accountants top psychological tests, falter on health and lifestyle
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Professional Development