Working a lousy job early in your career? It can affect your mental and physical health later in life, according to a new nationwide study.

Men and women in their 20s and 30s who were unhappy in their jobs said they were more depressed, worried and had trouble sleeping, according to a study by Ohio State University researchers presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Seattle.

"We found that there is a cumulative effect of job satisfaction on health that appears as early as your 40s," Jonathan Dirlam, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in in sociology, said in a release. Dirlam conducted the study with Hui Zheng, an associate professor of sociology.

The good news? People whose job satisfaction started low but got better over the course of their early career didn't have the health problems associated with consistently low or declining satisfaction, the study showed.


What data was used for the study?
The researchers used data from 6,432 Americans who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, which followed adults who were between the ages of 14 and 22 when the survey began in 1979. The survey is conducted by Ohio State's Center for Human Resource Research for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What did people report?
The researchers examined job satisfaction trajectories for people from age 25 to 39.

Participants rated how much they liked their jobs from 1 (dislike very much) to 4 (like very much).

About 45 percent of participants had consistently low job satisfaction, while 23 percent had levels that were trending downward through their early career.

About 15 percent of people were consistently happy at their jobs and about 17 percent were trending upward.

What about their health?
The participants reported a variety of health measures after they turned 40.

People who had low job satisfaction scored worse on all five of the mental health measures studied, study results showed. They reported higher levels of depression, sleep problems and excessive worry. They were also more likely to have been diagnosed with emotional problems.

Those who did not like their jobs and those whose job satisfaction was trending down reported poorer overall health and more problems like back pain and frequent colds compared to those who liked their jobs.

What about their future?
The results show the importance that early jobs have on people's lives, Zheng said.

"You don't have to be near the end of your career to see the health impact of job satisfaction, particularly on your mental health," he said.

Participants were studied in their 40s so if jobs don't improve they could suffer health problems as they age which were brought on by increased anxiety and depression, the researchers said.

Refferal: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2016/08/hate_your_job_your_physical_an.html

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