The Real Link Between Job Satisfaction And Health
By Terry Robson
Sometimes in life it is tempting to put up with something that you don’t like on the premise that it will “do for now” and you can do what you really want to do later on. That’s fine…to a degree, and the degree at which it becomes a problem is when the “make do” option is actually causing you harm. Of course, there is always the “seize the day” argument that says any delay in doing what you are here to do should not be countenanced. However, if you are more in the “one day” camp and are, perhaps, enduring a job that you don’t like then a new study might make you mend your ways.
For the study the researchers used data from more than 6,400 subjects who took part in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth back in 1979. The subjects were all aged between 14 and 22 at the start of the data gathering which has continued over the intervening years.
For this new analysis the researchers examined job satisfaction for the subjects between ages 25 and 39. They then looked to see if there was any correlation between job satisfaction and health.
They found first of all that 45 per cent of subjects had a consistently low job satisfaction level and 23 per cent of people from the remaining 55 per cent had job satisfaction that decreased over time. About 15 per cent of subjects were very happy in their jobs and 17 per cent were trending upwards.
The results showed that physical health was not dramatically different according to job satisfaction but mental health certainly was. People in the low job satisfaction group reported higher levels of depression, sleep problems, and excessive worry. On top of that low job satisfaction led to more emotional problems and lower scores on overall mental health.
Those with job satisfaction that trended lower over the years also had frequent trouble sleeping, more worry, and lower overall mental health scores.
Remember too, that these problems were manifesting before age 40. So if your job is not what you want, then don’t wait too long to either change your job or change how you look at it.
Source: American Sociological Association