The loss of a job or the change from full-time to part-time can do more than take cash from your wallet.
A new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) demonstrates that employment changes profoundly impact mental and physical health.
Dr. Carles Muntaner and his Canadian research team found that poor mental health outcomes are associated with precarious employment (e.g. temporary contracts or part-time work with low wages and no benefits).
When compared with those with full-time work and benefits, workers who report employment insecurity experience significant adverse effects on their physical and mental health.
The research team also found that stress at work is associated with a 50 per cent excess risk of coronary heart disease, and there is consistent evidence that jobs with high demands, low control, and effort-reward imbalance are risk factors for mental and physical health problems (major depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders).
Canada and a number of other wealthy countries such as the U.K., the United States, Australia and New Zealand all face similar challenges, Dr. Muntaner notes, because there’s a greater tolerance for inequities than in some other countries such as Sweden and Denmark.
“Access to healthcare is not the only determinate of a healthy community,” says Dr. Muntaner.
“All aspects of our lifestyle, including how we work, are intrinsically linked to our wellbeing and our quality and length of life.”