Tuesday May 22, 2018

Reduction of Job Strain Can Lower the Threat of Mental Illness Cases

The researchers also accounted for non-workplace factors including divorce, financial problems, housing instability, and other stressful life events like death or illness.

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If your workplace is supporting its employees by reducing their job strain, it may boost in preventing new cases of common mental illness from occurring up to 14 per cent, a new study suggests.
Stress at work place is linked to mental illness. Pixabay
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If your workplace is supporting its employees by reducing their job strain, it may boost in preventing new cases of common mental illness from occurring up to 14 per cent, a new study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, confirm that high job strain is associated with an increased risk of developing common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety amongst middle-aged workers.

Job strain is a term used to describe the combination of high work pace, intensity, and conflicting demands, coupled with low control or decision-making capacity.

“The results indicate that if we were able to eliminate job strain situations in the workplace, up to 14 per cent of cases of common mental illness could be avoided,” said lead author Samuel Harvey, Associate Professor at the Black Dog Institute in Australia.

“These findings serve as a wake-up call for the role workplace initiatives should play in our efforts to curb the rising costs of mental disorders,” Harvey added.

To determine levels of job strain, 6,870 participants completed questionnaires at age 45 testing for factors including decision authority, skill discretion and questions about job pace, intensity and conflicting demands.

If your workplace is supporting its employees by reducing their job strain, it may boost in preventing new cases of common mental illness from occurring up to 14 per cent, a new study suggests.
Mental illness can be reduced by reducing the job pressure. Pixabay

The researchers also accounted for non-workplace factors including divorce, financial problems, housing instability, and other stressful life events like death or illness.

The models developed in this study controlled for individual workers’ temperament and personality, their IQ, level of education, prior mental health problems and a range of other factors from across their early lives.

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The final modelling suggested that those experiencing higher job demands, lower job control and higher job strain were at greater odds of developing mental illness by age 50, regardless of sex or occupational class.

“Workplaces can adopt a range of measures to reduce job strain, and finding ways to increase workers’ perceived control of their work is often a good practical first step. This can be achieved through initiatives that involve workers in as many decisions as possible,” Harvey, who is also affiliated with the University of New South Wales in Australia, noted. (IANS)

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Older Employees Are More Likely to Get Affected by Unfair Treatment at Workplace

Older employees tend to feel more stressed than younger employees when their employers don't provide them with the support and resources they need to do their jobs well, according to a new study

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The researchers found that greater symptoms of depression were linked to worse episodic memory -- a person's ability to remember specific experiences and events.
representational image. pixabay

Older employees tend to feel more stressed than younger employees when their employers don’t provide them with the support and resources they need to do their jobs well, according to a new study.

The study, published in the “Journal of Vocational Behavior”, found that both younger and older workers had lower levels of overall stress when they were given more autonomy on the job, had good relationships with their bosses and felt they were respected and treated fairly at work.

But when such resources were lacking, older workers reported significantly higher stress levels a year later than their younger colleagues, the researcher said.

“With the workforce becoming more age-diverse and older at the same time, it is important to understand the differences between younger and older workers to help them cope with the demands of their work lives more effectively,” said co-author Lale Yaldiz from the Portland State University in the US.

Older employees tend to feel more stressed than younger employees when their employers don't provide them with the support and resources they need to do their jobs well, according to a new study
Employees in an office (representational image), Pixabay

For the study, the researchers surveyed 243 municipal public works employees between the ages of 24 and 64 over the course of a year.

The findings suggest that older workers place a greater value on having autonomy and a supportive work environment than younger workers because those resources allow them to adapt to the psychological and physical changes that come with aging.

For example, older workers tend to prioritise emotional needs and care more about having socially meaningful interactions and mentoring their colleagues than younger workers whose focus tends to be on gaining the skills they need to advance in their careers, the researcher said.

Also Read: New Study Shows That Elderly With Symptoms of Depression Are More Prone to Memory Problems

Since older workers appear to be more susceptible to stress in the face of unfairness, organisations can help workers by being transparent about how decisions are made and implemented, not discriminating, valuing employee input when making key decisions and providing channels for employees to voice concerns, the researchers added. (IANS)