Promotions at Work Increase Mental Strain

As news of the state of the economy and its adverse impact on the health of citizens continues to gain attention in the media, a contrasting report has emerged from the University of Warwick. Science Daily featured a piece announcing that new research found that promotion in the workplace produces on average 10 percent more mental strain. The research also reported that once a person receives a promotion, they have 20 percent less time to visit doctors and properly manage their health. Researchers at the University of Warwick set out to question why people with higher job status seem to have better health. They wanted to test the assumption that an improvement to a person’s job status directly results in better health due to an increased sense of life control and self-worth. In examining the British Household Panel Survey data set, researchers found no evidence of improved physical health after promotion. They also found that self-assessed feelings of health did not decline. Instead, researchers found significantly greater mental strain. In fact, after a job promotion, there was on average a 10 percent decrease in a person’s mental health. According to this research, the physical health of those receiving a promotion did not improve. They simply had less time to visit the doctor, creating the misconception that this decrease in visits suggests increased health. And, while this study did show reduced attendance in general practice surgeries among this population, such results could signal lack of care rather than lack of need. Overall, this study found that getting a promotion at work is not as great as people may perceive it to be, as the mental health toll is significant. It is expected that this change goes beyond the short-term and could create lasting adverse effects.

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