- Dr Frantz Pierre-Louis & Lloyd Pierre-Louis
Job and Health
Updated: May 10, 2020
While most people spend two-third of their life sleeping, many also spend the same amount of time (or even more) working (a job) during their lifetime. Even more so, the evolution of the modern workplace environment and the evolving nature of work itself due to the imprint of technology could even make the modern ‘’job’’ an incessant activity susceptible to be practiced during a lifetime.
Regardless of its nature, the primary importance of job is to provide a salary to the worker enabling him to ‘’make a living’’ by earning money, among others. This money therefore allows the worker (or job performer) to sustain and improve many aspects of his life, including his own health.
From this sole perspective, job is somehow a health enhancer because one can benefit from it to afford treatment and buy medications if he gets sick. A job also provides a workplace susceptible to provide specific benefits resulting from social interactions with co-workers. However, other than potential accidents that could occur in a poorly-designed workplace environment, with job also come the common aspects of ‘’job satisfaction’’ and pressure to perform, and therefore stress and anxiety leading eventually to mental and even physical illness.
As a matter of fact, in an article (published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2005) entitled The relationship between job satisfaction and health: a meta-analysis, the authors E B Faragher, M Cass and C L Cooper concluded the following:
‘’ […] The relationships found suggest that job satisfaction level is an important factor influencing the health of workers. Organisations should include the development of stress management policies to identify and eradicate work practices that cause most job dissatisfaction as part of any exercise aimed at improving employee health. Occupational health clinicians should consider counselling employees diagnosed as having psychological problems to critically evaluate their work—and help them to explore ways of gaining greater satisfaction from this important aspect of their life. '’
Finally, in light of the findings of this meta-analysis, one can hardly argue that perspective, right-minded attitude and moderation are the keys to make job a positive contribution not only to social life but also to individual health… Because, when it comes to job ultimately, this adage still applies: Live to work, don’t work to live!