A new study that looks into the most stressful jobs in the world claims that being a server inside a restaurant can carry more stress than working as a doctor or an architect.
The study, conducted by the Southern Medical University in Guongzhou, China, analysed results from the data of over 136,000 people who were monitored from three to 17 years.
They broke work roles down into four roles:
High Stress jobs: Waitresses and Nursing Aids.
Low Stress jobs: Scientists and Architects.
Passive jobs: Manual labourers.
Active jobs: Doctors, Teachers.
Their findings claim that jobs with low pay and high work load, such as restaurant servers, increase the risk of heart problems and strokes by over 50 percent, especially because those with high levels of stress at work are less likely to take care of themselves and more likely to drink or smoke.
The researchers claim that job stress actually comes down to how in control and respected a person feels in their role and that even though professions like doctor or teacher can have a lot of mental strain, the feeling of empowerment and autonomy given to people in these roles allows them not to become overly stressed. In comparison, a job like serving in a restaurant - which often comes with no feeling of empowerment, demands from customers, management and unsociable hours - can have the worst impact on stress.
It might seem common sense that demanding jobs with little control equate to more stress but the study had some stark warnings, showing that 4.4 percent of a person’s stroke risk is down to their job stress, a number that jumps to 6.5 per cent in women.
The argument of the report suggest that changes in the way certain jobs are structured could actually reduce these risk, for example, giving staff a better control over their job, giving them more decision making or some flexibility in how they structure shifts would offer back the feeling of empowerment that is key in reducing the work stress they feel.
What do you think? Can a waiter or waitress really finish their job feeling more stressed than a doctor?