Mid-life job stress linked to later health problems
Stress is known to directly affect a person’s well-being. But stress at one point in a person’s life may have an impact on them later. A new study in Age and Ageing shows that mid-life job stress may cause more hospital stays later in life.
Researchers from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland analyzed the health of more than 5,000 middle-aged Finish workers. These workers took a survey regarding work stress in 1981. The results of this survey were then compared to hospital records over the following 28 years.
The results show people with high stress at work tended to have longer days in the hospital, particularly for physical stress. What is physical stress? The researchers considered physical strain to be sweating, shortness of breath, and muscle strain. They classified mental stress as tight deadlines, having little control, and high demands.
For every 1,000 men with lower physical stress, they spent only eight days in the hospital per year, compared to 13 days for men with high physical stress from their job. The increase of hospital stays from physical job stress was true for both men and women. However, for mental job stress, the increase in hospital stays was only true for men.
The researchers did note that they can’t prove a person’s job was the direct or only cause for increased hospital stays and health issues.