I also see this as a challenge of nowadays society. People tend to praise the old masters and their way of living and remind everybody how we are lazy today (I'm not referring to you, it's just a feeling I've got from the martial society). But anyway...Yang Lu Chan would've had it a bit more difficult in modern society, where pollution of air and food less nutritive is almost inevitable and hindering any progress to live healthy.
Most labour work in my area requires a lot of flexibility to take shifts that overrun the martial classes happening usually in the evening. And it's also a work that is slowly dying as machines replace doing the same work cheaper and faster.
A huge challenge for people nowadays is to learn to sit straight/correct, and usually the damage is already been developed as a child/teenager, leaning on the crappy school desks from five to eight hours a day.
I'm right now trying to figure out myself, do I want to continue working in the social field (lots of offices and sitting) or go work in something more physical, for example the profession of masseur.
I like your views and especially the part of having to find softness and looseness in everyday life, because working in a field where the contrast is easily felt and seen. Today I had to carry chairs in the office for a conference for tomorrow, I was happy to do it and had a contact to my body for a while. Usually I sacrifice a short while of the lunch brake to go train for a short while to a park nearby...and this has to be done almost secretly because workers aren't allowed to leave the building even on lunch brake...what a great way to encourage the employee to keep him/herself fit and refreshed for the work...
*edited a typo