High-Stress Occupations 'Can Double Your Chances of Depression'

Cape Times (South Africa), August 6, 2007 | Go to article overview

High-Stress Occupations 'Can Double Your Chances of Depression'


BYLINE: Jeremy Laurance

It is the curse of the modern world: too much to do and too little time to do it. And now researchers have demonstrated its harmful effect on health.

A British survey of people in their early 30s has found that those in high-stress jobs run twice the risk of suffering serious depression or anxiety as those in lower-stress occupations.

Top of the stress league are men who are head chefs in big restaurants and construction workers under pressure to complete a building on time. They are six times more likely to buckle under stress, researchers report.

Theirs are the most stressful jobs because, in addition to working to deadlines in an environment where failure is publicly visible, they face hard physical labour every day in extremes of heat or cold and frequently without encouragement or support.

Least stressful were those jobs which involved looking after children at home, where there are no deadlines to meet, greater flexibility and no fear of public failure.

Time pressure is the single most important cause of stress and of the illness to which it leads, the researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London say. Physical conditions at work, boredom and relations with bosses and colleagues mattered less. …

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High-Stress Occupations 'Can Double Your Chances of Depression'
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