When you tell others work is killing you, a new study says you may be right. New research from Stanford University professors Stefanos Zenios and Jeffrey Pfeffer and Harvard Business School researcher Joel Goh claims workplace stress causes 120,000 deaths a year in the U.S.
They say long hours, job insecurity and an inability to balance work and life issues lead the causes. Those stresses — along with the deaths — cost employers, employees and insurers $190 billion a year in health care costs.
Zenios said, “The deaths are comparable to the fourth-and fifth-largest causes of death in the country: heart disease and accidents. It’s more than deaths from diabetes, Alzheimer’s or influenza.”
These are the 10 common workplace stressors:
• Job insecurity
• Long work hours
• Low social support at work
• Low job control
• Secondhand smoke exposure
• Exposure to shift work
• High job demands
• Low organizational justice
• No health insurance
They also did a breakdown:
• Job insecurity increases the odds of poor physical health by 50%.
• Job insecurity increases the odds of poor mental health by 40%.
• A significant stressor is the work-family conflict and it increases physical illness by 85%.
• Another major stressor is the lack of health insurance and it increases the odds of a physician-diagnosed health condition by more than 100%.
• Organization justice and high job demands are associated with a 50% increase in doctor-diagnosed illness.
• Loss of job control increase mortality rates by 45%.
• Long hours increase mortality by close to 20%.
• Another big driver is economic insecurity — unemployment, layoffs and low job control.
The researchers say taken together these increase health care costs in the U.S by 5% to 8%. Critics say the study isn’t accurate and Zenios agrees there are flaws. “It is association — it doesn’t mean that there’s causation. There may be other factors going on.”
Pferrer agrees and says other causes could come into play but stress at work and not liking your job is a major contributor to health. “Lots of research shows that your tendency to overeat, overdrink and take drugs is affected by your workplace. When people like their lives, and that includes work life, they will do a better job of taking care of themselves. When they don’t like their lives, they don’t.”
Source link: Carrier Management