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NextGen Magazine


Study Looking at 20 Years' Worth of Data Concludes: Higher Job Stress, Earlier Death

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 21, 2020
A recent study that looked at 20 years' worth of data on over 3,000 people found that those with higher job stress died sooner, according to Fast Company. The study found that, basically, those with more job stress, over time, experienced more mental health problems which, in turn, translated into more physical health problems as well, ultimately leading to a higher degree of mortality. In this respect, when people say "this job is killing me," they could be speaking more literally than they'd think. 

However, the researchers also found that job stress didn't necessarily mean huge workloads and difficult tasks but, rather, lack of control over how people do their job. They found, in fact, that if someone has both a high degree of job autonomy and a highly demanding position, mortality actually improves.

"We examined how job control—or the amount of autonomy employees have at work–and cognitive ability–or people's ability to learn and solve problemsˆinfluence how work stressors such as time pressure or workload affect mental and physical health and, ultimately, death," said Erik Gonzalez-Mulé, assistant professor of organizational behavior and human resources at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, the paper's lead author. "We found that work stressors are more likely to cause depression and death as a result of jobs in which workers have little control or for people with lower cognitive ability."