Attitude, Eating Well

Unhappy At Work Can Mean Unhealthy At Home

Taking this job and shoving it may imagesbe good for your health–if you really hate the job to begin with. Researchers at Ohio  State University are convinced that job satisfaction in your late 20s and 30s has a real influence on overall health in your early 40s. How do they know? An Ohio State U news release reports that the researchers examined job satisfaction trajectories for people from age 25 to 39, then asked the participants about a variety of health measures after they turned 40. The researchers put participants in four groups: consistently low and consistently high job satisfaction, those whose satisfaction started high but was trending down and those who started low but were trending higher. Here’s what they found: 45 percent of participants had consistently low job satisfaction; 23 percent had levels that were trending downward through their early career; 15 percent were consistently happy at their jobs; and about 17 percent were trending upward. Unsurprisingly, the researchers found that mental health, rather than physical health, was most affected by people’s feelings about their jobs. Those in the low job satisfaction group throughout their early careers scored worse on all five of the mental health measures, with higher levels of depression, sleep problems and excessive worry. Those whose job satisfaction started out higher but declined through their early career were more likely than those with consistently high satisfaction to have frequent trouble sleeping and excessive worry, and had lower scores for overall mental health. And those whose scores went up through the early career years did not see any comparative health problems. Wait, there’s more: those who were in the low satisfaction group and those who were trending downwards reported poorer overall health and more problems like back pain and frequent colds compared to the high satisfaction group.

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