Thursday, Sep 24, 2020 | Last Update : 01:35 AM IST

183rd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra122438091634833015 Andhra Pradesh6317495518215410 Tamil Nadu5473374919718871 Karnataka5268764233778145 Uttar Pradesh3588932895945135 Delhi2492592133045014 West Bengal2283021989834421 Odisha184122149379763 Telangana1726081419301042 Bihar169856155824870 Assam159320129130578 Kerala13863398720554 Gujarat1247671051913337 Rajasthan116881972841352 Haryana113075908841177 Madhya Pradesh108167836182007 Punjab99930754092860 Chhatisgarh8618347653680 Jharkhand7267358543626 Jammu and Kashmir65026421151024 Uttarakhand4177729000501 Goa2875322726360 Puducherry2319118065467 Tripura2227215441245 Himachal Pradesh124387836125 Chandigarh102987411123 Manipur9010683859 Arunachal Pradesh7385540813 Nagaland5544445110 Meghalaya4733252838 Sikkim2447190529 Mizoram158510120
  Life   Health  31 May 2018  Middle-aged workers who are stressed have higher risk of mental health issues

Middle-aged workers who are stressed have higher risk of mental health issues

REUTERS
Published : May 31, 2018, 8:12 am IST
Updated : May 31, 2018, 8:12 am IST

Workers reporting high levels of job strain are more likely to develop mental health disorders than people with low-stress jobs.

people who reported having little control over their work were 89 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with psychological disorders. (Photo: Pixabay)
 people who reported having little control over their work were 89 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with psychological disorders. (Photo: Pixabay)

Middle-aged adults who feel stressed, powerless or overworked on the job may be more likely to develop mental health problems in the coming years than more contented co-workers, a recent study suggests.

For the study, researchers examined data from questionnaires completed by 6,870 workers in the UK who, at age 45, had never been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or other common mental illnesses. Overall, about one-third reported having little control over what they did at work and slightly more than one-fourth described their jobs as very demanding and stressful.

 

By age 50, workers who reported high levels of job strain five years earlier were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with mental health disorders as the people who had low-stress jobs, researchers report in The Lancet Psychiatry.

With demanding jobs, workers were 70 per cent more likely to develop a mental illness by age 50, the study also found. And people who reported having little control over their work were 89 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with psychological disorders.

“Several studies published over the past decade have suggested a link between workplace stress and poor mental health outcomes amongst employees,” said lead study author Samuel Harvey, head of the workplace mental health research program at the Black Dog Institute at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

 

“However, it has always been difficult to work out which came first: difficult work situations or mental health problems - the classic chicken or egg situation,” Harvey said.

While the current study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove that work problems directly cause mental health issues, the fact that none of the workers had any psychological issues at the start of the study period suggests that the job difficulties came first, Harvey said.

Even though the study focused on middle age, all of the participants had been followed since birth, allowing researchers to account for a variety of circumstances growing up that might influence the odds that a person would experience job strain or mental health problems.

 

“We were able to develop the most precise picture to date of the possible reasons an individual’s working conditions could impact their mental health,” Harvey said. “When accounting for non-workplace factors like stressful life events, illness, IQ and early life, the results indicate that people with higher job demands, lower job control and higher job strain were still more likely to develop mental illness by age 50, regardless of sex or occupational class.”

While the exact ways that job strain might cause mental illness aren’t clear, stress is a known risk factor for psychological problems as well as a wide range of other chronic health issues like heart disease, diabetes and obesity, said Dr. Sabir Giga, author of an accompanying editorial and a researcher at Lancaster University in the UK.

 

“For individual workers, it’s important to recognize that persistent and long-term stress could lead to physical and mental health conditions,” Giga said by email.

“Demanding jobs may be unavoidable,” Giga added. “But we can make changes in our lives that allow more control and flexibility in how much we work and the way we do it.”

Tags: stress, middle-aged workers, mental health issues, mental health, health and well being, job stress, university of new south wales