Job strain and insecurity linked to poor health - November 20, 2003

Job strain and job insecurity show strong links with poor health, particularly mental health, according to researchers from Australia.

These results are worrying as these adverse job conditions are on the increase, particularly insecure or casual employment, said the authors.

They assessed 1188 employed professionals, aged 40-44 years, for depression, anxiety, and physical and self-rated health for a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Adverse job conditions were relatively common as 23% reported high job strain (high demands and low control), while 7.3% and 23% reported high and moderate job insecurity respectively.

Insecure employment and high job strain showed strong, independent associations with physical and mental health, which persisted after adjusting for factors such as gender, education, employment status and personality.

As the labor market becomes more globalized and competitive, these adverse job conditions are on the increase, particularly insecure employment, said the authors. Therefore the influence of work on health is an important focus for future population health research, policy, and intervention, they concluded (Work and health in a contemporary society: demands, control, and insecurity. J Epidemiol Community Health, 2003;57:849-54). This article was prepared by Health & Medicine Week editors from staff and other reports.

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Last updated: 11/27/2003 - 10:22 AM