new_study_stressful_job.jpgBeing jobless is one nightmare no one wants to have, especially if you're someone raising a family and balancing the household budget. But while earning a living is foremost in everyone's minds, a new study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine shows that, if your job demands too much from you, your mental health suffers more than it would if you were unemployed.

The researchers from the Australian National University looked at data from over 7,000 respondents over the course of seven years to figure out how a person's state of employment affects his or her mental health. The results showed that, while unemployed people generally had poorer mental health compared to those with good jobs, they still fared better than people with "poor-quality" jobs. They defined "poor-quality" occupations as those that provide employees low job stability, low control over decision-making, and poor rewards for efforts.

Their research also showed that unemployed people who got good jobs afterward increased their mental health score by 3.3 points on the Mental Health Inventory scale. Meanwhile, those who took on bad jobs dropped 5.6 points below average. If they had stayed jobless, they would have only lost one point.

So if you're unemployed and you're thinking any job is better than none at all, it's time to reevaluate your options and seek employment somewhere that provides you a great working environment. After all, you'll be a more efficient worker if you enjoy what you do, and you can only work toward that promotion if you show enough progress. Having a stressful job will not just wreak havoc on your mental health; it could lead to your physical health and your work quality suffering too.

On the other hand, if you're finding yourself overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated, you might want to consider looking for another job. No job, it seems, is better than a job that only adds to your anxiety levels without giving you any enjoyment.


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(Photo by christianhasdiabetes via Flickr Creative Commons)

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