Having a job you dislike might have a serious impact on your overall health, a study conducted in August by the American Sociological Association showed.
According to the study, job-related dissatisfaction experienced in our 20s and 30s can lead to health problems later in life.
A sociology professor at Ohio State University, Jonathan Dirlam, along with his team, analyzed data collected from over 6,000 participants through the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which has been monitoring participants’ outcomes since 1979.
They evaluated participants’ job satisfaction levels from age 25 to 39, comparing the results with the health conditions developed by the same participants after they turned 40.
“The higher levels of mental health problems for those with low job satisfaction may be a precursor to future physical problems,” Hui Zheng, associate professor of sociology at Ohio State, said. “Increased anxiety and depression could lead to cardiovascular or other health problems that won’t show up until they are older.”
People who were found to be the most unhappy early on in their careers were also the most exposed to the risk of developing illnesses, especially mental ones, in their 40s. They were more depressed and had more emotional struggles. They also suffered from sleep deprivation, excessive worry and anxiety.
Physical diseases were also pretty common. Those with a lower job satisfaction level tended to show more problems, such as back pain and frequent colds, than those happier at work.
“Job satisfaction is an important factor influencing the health of workers,” the sociologists concluded in their study. “Organizations should include the development of stress management policies to identify and eradicate work practices that cause most job dissatisfaction as part of any exercise aimed at improving employee health.”