Foresters, loggers find happiness in their work despite hazards

Jan 29, 2023 | Author: Larry Mauter, LCSWA member | Editor: Nancy Hildebrandt

Washington Post data crunchers have reached some conclusions that should put a smile on faces of woodland owners.

Sunrise in forest clearing

Photo: Larry Mauter

Workers in agriculture — including logging and forestry — rate their work as meaningful and bringing happiness to themselves more so than any other major U.S. industry.

At the same time, these workers reported the lowest level of stress in their jobs compared with other industries — despite their jobs being particularly dangerous.

The Post story relied on information from Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey. Comments were collected between 2010 and 2021 by the federal agency.

The Post analysis was done by staff writer Andrew Van Dam.

Being outdoors, instead if being in an office, and exercising during work are factors in the reported happiness, according to the analysis.

Even something as simple as the aroma in a pine forest ramps up the happiness factor for some people, the Post story reported.

Other emotional boosts included that forestry “forces you to have a generational outlook.

“There’s a point where you are now planting trees that you are not going to see harvested,” Leslie Boby told the Post.

“It speaks to something larger than yourself. … Your work is living on, and someone else will benefit from your efforts in a tangible way,” said Boby, who runs Southern Regional Extension Forestry in Athens, Ga.”

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