Uncertainty can lead to bad health effects and depression, the researchers found out.
Work – a wolf? Run away.
Just worrying about losing one’s job can cost health. It turned out as a result of two new studies. Surprisingly, but a fact: the experience is much more dangerous than the loss of work itself, research shows.
Based on how participants rated their physical and mental health, we found that people who are constantly concerned about losing their job feel much worse, they are more susceptible to depression compared to those who have already lost or found a new job, says Sarah Bargard, a sociologist at the University of Michigan.
“In fact, the chronic unstable situation with work is a stronger“ guarantor ”of poor health than smoking or hypertension – showed one of the groups that we studied,“ – continues Bargard. The main reason for this is the stress caused by instability and insecurity. Other studies have shown that stress can be deadly, as it causes a number of diseases that shorten life.
Bargard and her colleagues studied data from two nationally representative US population studies. The surveys were based on two interviews with each of the study participants. One study was conducted between 1986 and 1989, others between 1995 and 2005. The research results are published in the journal Social Science. Medicine.
Why is the fear of losing a job worse for health than being fired?
The uncertainty of the future, the inability to make decisions until the loss of work really happened, and the lack of social support reinforce a sense of instability, the researcher believes.
Scientists have studied other factors: race, marital status, predisposition to neurotic diseases, education and professional characteristics. This is necessary to ensure that the link between instability and health is not based on anything else. It should be noted that they excluded the possibility that poor health is causing instability and vulnerability.
“When not only income, but many of the important benefits that, along with work, provide some peace of mind (health insurance, retirement benefits) are tied to employment, it’s quite understandable why for most people the feeling of instability in their workplace is so stressful,” noted Bargard.
The work offers food for thought to workers, employers and politicians during this period of high unemployment, the researchers note.
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