High-stress jobs with a lack of control 'can increase risk of early death'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

People working high-stress jobs over which they have little control may be at a greater risk of dying early, a new study has shown.

The Indiana University Kelley School of Business research analysed data for 2,363 Wisconsin residents in their 60s over a seven-year period, showing that for individuals in low-control jobs, high job demands were associated with a 15.4 percent increase in the likelihood of death.

“People in high-stress jobs with little control over their workflow are at a greater risk of dying younger or being unhealthy, according to a new study.“

Conversely, among people with a high degree of control over their own workflow, heavy job demands were actually associated with a 34 percent decrease in the likelihood of death compared to those with less demanding roles.

This shows that workers who have a lot of professional responsibilities are generally much healthier when they also have the capability to set their own goals and schedules and make their own decisions.

Study leader Erik Gonzalez-Mule, assistant professor of organisational behaviour and human resources at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, said: "When you don't have the necessary resources to deal with a demanding job, you … might eat more, you might smoke, you might engage in some of these things to cope with it."

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