In today’s workplace, many people work in jobs that offer little security or benefits. These jobs may pay low wages, offer no job stability, and provide workers with very few rights.
A recent study by the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden suggests that such a work situation is not only stressful but can even be deadly.
The study shows that people who move from an insecure job to a secure one have a significantly lower risk of dying young.
The study: A close look at Swedish workers
The researchers used data from a large sample of Swedish workers, consisting of over 250,000 workers aged between 20 and 55.
The data covered a period from 2005 to 2017. Specifically, the study looked at workers who started out in precarious jobs and later moved to more stable jobs.
The researchers found that those who transitioned from an unstable job to a stable job had a 20% reduced risk of dying early.
And if they stayed in that secure job for 12 years, that risk reduced by another 10%, making it 30% overall.
“The results are important because they show that the increased mortality seen among workers can be avoided.
If we reduce insecurity in the labor market, we can avoid premature deaths in Sweden,” said Dr. Nuria Matilla-Santander, one of the researchers.
Why job security matters: More than just a paycheck
The researchers were careful to also consider other factors that could affect a person’s life expectancy, such as their age, other health problems, or major life events such as a divorce.
This gives them confidence that the lower risk of death is actually due to the change in job security and not something else.
dr Theo Bodin, another researcher on the study, pointed out that this is the first study to show a direct link between job security and the risk of early death.
“It’s the same as saying that the risk of early death is higher if you continue to work in non-secure jobs,” he said.
Conclusion: A wake-up call for policymakers
The results of this study send a strong signal to everyone who can bring about changes in the labor market. Improving job security can literally save lives.
The researchers want to dig deeper and find out the specific reasons why people in insecure jobs are more likely to die early.
But for now, the lesson is clear: Securing a stable job isn’t just a matter of financial security, it’s a key factor in living longer and healthier lives.
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The study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
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