Many studies have been done on the negative impact of work on your health. But a recent study found that work’s impact on your health can actually be positive.
In a new NPR/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll, 44% of working adults said their current job has an impact on their overall health—and 28% said that impact is positive.
Of course, the bad news is that, of the more than 1,600 US workers surveyed, 16% reported that their current job has a negative impact on their health. Workers most likely to say their job has a negative impact on their overall health include those:
- With disabilities (35%)
- In dangerous jobs (27%)
- In low-paying jobs (26%)
- Working 50+ hours per week (25%)
- Working in retail (26%).
A number of working adults also reported that their job has a negative impact on their:
In addition, 22% of working adults said that something at their job may be harmful to their health, including 43% of construction or outdoor workers and 34% of workers in medical jobs.
Among workers with health concerns about their workplace, the most frequently cited health concerns mentioned are chemicals and other contaminants (30%), unhealthy air (13%), accidents or injuries (12%), and stress (11%).
Other key findings:
- 51% said their workplace offers any formal wellness or health improvement programs to help keep themselves healthy (here’s information on how to use a guide to implement a successful workplace health promotion program)
- Nearly half of all workers (45%) rate their workplace as only fair or poor in providing healthy food options (see, how to use a food and beverage policy to improve workers’ health)
- 55% said they still go to work always or most of the time when they have a cold or the flu—including 60% of those who work in medical jobs and 50% of restaurant workers.