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Why having a bad job is worse for your health than having no job at all
A new study shows the link between the quality of a job and mental health.
If you work in a low-paying job you hate, you are likely more chronically stressed out than if you were just unemployed. That's the conclusion of a new study from researchers at the University of Manchester.
Focusing on how job transitions affect health, sociologists monitored 1116 unemployed British adults who didn't have a job in 2009-2010, and discovered that those who ended up finding good jobs had improved mental health. But those who found stressful, badly paid or unstable jobs showed no improvement in their mental health and, in fact, physical indicators of chronic stress were worse in such people than in those who stayed unemployed.
The scientists, led by the study author Professor Tarani Chandola, followed up with the study participants for a few years, noting their self-reported health and chronic stress levels as indicated by hormones and other stress-linked biomarkers.
The goal for Chandola was to find out if any job is better than no job. She focused on job quality as defined by pay, job security, job satisfaction and levels of anxiety.
"Job quality cannot be disregarded from the employment success of the unemployed, said Chandola. "Just as good work is good for health, we must also remember that poor quality work can be detrimental to health."
As she described her process in an interview with ResearchGate, to gauge stress levels, Chandola focused on biomarkers "based on elevated levels of hormones, inflammatory, metabolic and cardiovascular levels such as higher blood pressure and cholesterol."
"I was trying to test the common assumption that any job is better than no job, " said Chandola. "I have been working on work, stress, and health for a number of years, and people accept that having a stressful job is not good for your physical and mental health. But most people then say, “but at least you have a job,” with the implicit assumption that being unemployed is far worse for your health than having a stressful and poor quality job."
While the research involved British adults, Chandola said that a few studies in other countries like Australia showed similar results. Having a bad job is worse for your health than having no job at all. Of course, having no money at all can also be quite a stressful experience.
The key, says Chandola, is for people to understand whether their work could be making them ill. Maybe you don't need to leave it, but not working with your doctor and manager to improve how you deal with the job could be detrimental to you.
You can read the study here, in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
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Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.