It is healthier to be unemployed than have a stressful job, new research suggests.
Adults who go from being out of work to having a poor-quality job suffer more stress-related health concerns, a study found.
These include having significantly worse blood glucose and cholesterol levels, the research adds.
It also affects fat storage, increases the levels of substances associated with blood clots and causes inflammation, the study found.
High blood and cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, while blood clots can result in deadly pulmonary embolisms. Inflammation has previously been linked to joint damage, gum disease and a higher risk of cancer.
How the study was carried out
Researchers from the University of Manchester analysed 1,116 people aged between 35 and 75 who were unemployed between 2009 and 2010.
The study’s participants were followed from 2010 to 2012.
They were invited to have a health assessment by a nurse, which included taking a blood sample.
The effect of employment-related stress was determined by measuring factors including cholesterol levels, blood pressure, pulse rate and waist-to-hip ratio.
Job quality was assessed via pay, security, control, satisfaction and anxiety.
‘Poor quality work can be detrimental to health’
Results reveal that adults who go from being unemployed to having a poor-quality job suffer more stress-related health concerns.
Such people have significantly worse blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
It also affects their fat storage, increases the levels of substances associated with blood clots and causes inflammation.
Mental health remains the same whether people go from being out of work to having a job or if they stay unemployed.
It is unclear why these outcomes occur.
Study author Professor Tarani Chandola said: ‘Job quality cannot be disregarded from the employment success of the unemployed.
‘Just as good work is good for health, we must also remember poor quality work can be detrimental to health.’
The findings were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology,