Poor Job Satisfaction Can Hurt Your Health Later in Life

Photo by CREATISTA / Shutterstock.com

Poor job satisfaction can impact your health later on in life, new research indicates.

The effects are seen to a greater degree in mental health than physical health, according to researchers at Ohio State University, who presented their findings this week at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting in Seattle.

Lead study author Jonathan Dirlam, an Ohio State doctoral student in sociology, explains:

“We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s.”

For the study, the researchers used existing data on 6,432 Americans. They examined those participants’ job satisfaction from age 25 to 39, and the participants’ health situations after turning 40.

Researchers then put participants into four groups, based on their job satisfaction levels over the course of their early careers:

  • Consistently high (comprising about 15 percent of participants)
  • Consistently low (about 45 percent)
  • Started high but trended downward (23 percent)
  • Started low but trended upward (about 17 percent)

The group with consistently high job satisfaction was used as a reference to which the researchers compared the other three groups.

The group that reported low job satisfaction throughout early careers fared worse during their 40s on all five mental health indicators that were examined:

  • Levels of depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Excessive worry
  • Likelihood of having been diagnosed with emotional problems
  • Scores on tests of overall mental health

Those participants also reported worse overall physical health by the time they reached their 40s, with more problems like back pain and frequent colds.

The group with job satisfaction that trended downward during their early careers were more likely than the reference group to have frequent trouble sleeping, excessive worry and lower scores for overall mental health — but not depression or diagnoses of emotional problems.

They also reported worse overall physical health, with more problems like back pain and frequent colds.

The group with job satisfaction that trended upward reached their 40s without reporting any of the mental or health problems examined.

Regarding the presence of more mental health issues than physical health problems, study co-author Hui Zheng, an associate professor of sociology at Ohio State, added that it’s important to note that participants were studied when they were in their 40s:

“The higher levels of mental health problems for those with low job satisfaction may be a precursor to future physical problems.”

What do you make of these findings? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

How to find cheaper car insurance in minutes

Getting a better deal on car insurance doesn't have to be hard. You can have The Zebra, an insurance comparison site compare quotes in just a few minutes and find you the best rates. Consumers save an average of $368 per year, according to the site, so if you're ready to secure your new rate, get started now.

Read Next
6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security
6 Types of People Who Can’t Count on Social Security

If you fall into one of these groups, don’t assume that you will receive benefits.

9 Things Anyone Can Get for Free on Amazon
9 Things Anyone Can Get for Free on Amazon

These freebies are available to anyone with an internet connection.

8 Amazon Picks Under $30 for Coffee Lovers
8 Amazon Picks Under $30 for Coffee Lovers

We’ve brewed up a list of amazing Amazon products that are sure to perk you up.

12 Expenses You May Be Tempted to Claim as Tax Deductions — but Shouldn’t
12 Expenses You May Be Tempted to Claim as Tax Deductions — but Shouldn’t

Thinking of trying to deduct a few of these things on your federal tax return? That could be a costly mistake.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most
10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most

No state is immune from the coronavirus. But statistics show that some places are especially dangerous for older residents.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You probably don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

The dollar store has great bargains on these purchases.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

12 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
12 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do
The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do

Tired of age discrimination? Businesses are clamoring for older workers to fill certain roles.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus
9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus

The pandemic has a silver lining.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership
7 Ways to Shop at Costco Without a Membership

You don’t necessarily need to join to get in on the warehouse store’s savings.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.