The health of the nation has declined mostly because of stress caused by job losses, money worries or increased workload. According to recent US and UK studies, more people are losing sleep, take antidepressants and live unhealthy lifestyles.
A study by Harvard Public School published in the May 8 issue of Demography analyzed U.S. data on a wide range of occupations: managerial and professional positions; sales, clerical and craft jobs; machine operator jobs; and service positions.The likelihood of reporting fair or poor health increased by 54 percent among those who lost a job through workplace closure (similar across all occupations and positions). The odds of developing a new health condition rose by 83 percent among those who had no preexisting health problems. Job loss due to lay-offs, being fired or voluntary resignation more than doubled the likelihood of reporting fair or poor health among blue collar workers, but it had no effect on the health status of white collar workers.
Losing a job can lead not just to financial hardships but to health problems as well, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Americans worry and struggle as economy worsens
“Where and how we live, work, learn and play have a greater impact on how healthy we are than the health care we receive,” David R. Williams, staff director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America and a Harvard professor, said in a news release.
Economy keeping many up at night. According to the 2009 Sleep in America poll by the National Sleep Foundation, out today, more than a quarter (27%) of Americans are losing sleep over financial worries.Young adults use more sleep aids, women are using more antidepressants & less estrogen.
Job stress can affect a person’s health as bad as smoking or a sedentary lifestyle can.
According to UK Insurance Daily News, the percentage of respondents admitting to being under a significant amount of stress increased from 38% to 40%.
Half of those surveyed agreed that stress is affecting their personal lives and 41% revealed that money worries were at the root of the condition, while 22% blamed an increased workload.
The problems of increased stress are exacerbated by a lack of exercise. According to PruHealth, the number of people reporting that they never exercise has increased from 11% to 14%, with more than a quarter (28%) of adults blaming work commitments.
Unemployment Rate Rises as Pace of Layoffs Slows. But hopefully the worst days are behind. Job stress has severe consequences, for us all and for the economy. Scotland's mental health improvement plan was launched today indicating that an understanding of the importance of protecting a person's own mental health could be key to reducing health problems. How people deal with stress greatly affects their well-being.