More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Shift work linked to depression
January 22, 2007

Shift workers are more likely to be depressed as they are impacted by a number of job-related factors, including shift work, hours of work, work stress and occupation were associated with depression.

According to a Health Reports study, around half a million Canadian workers experience depression and most of them associate the ailment with their ability to work.

Statistics revealed that nearly 8 out of 10 (79 per cent) workers had experienced depression in 2002 and almost one in five (19 per cent) reported very severe interference.

On average, workers who suffer from depression symptoms lose 32 days because they are either unable to carry out normal activities or totally unable to work.

The prevalence of depression was considerably higher in those who spent less than 30 hours a week on the job, compared to those who worked more than 40 hours a week.

More likely to suffer from depression are both men and women who work on shifts, compared to those who work a regular day-time schedule.

It is also reported that 13 per cent of workers who had experienced depression reported at least one day in the previous two weeks when they had stayed in bed, or cut down on normal activities, or their daily activities took extra effort because of emotional or mental health or through the use of alcohol or drugs.

The impact of depression on job performance can persist over a two-year period. Workers who had been depressed were 1.4 times as likely to report reduced work activities two years later because of a long-term physical or mental health condition.

Workers in sales or service and those in white-collar jobs were more likely than blue-collar workers to have experienced depression.

Relatively high percentages of workers who had experienced depression reported specific forms of work impairment.

About 29 per cent of workers who had had a recent episode of depression reported reduced work activities because of a long-term health condition. This was three times the proportion of only 10 per cent among those with no history of depression.

As well, 13 per cent of workers who had experienced depression reported at least one day in the previous two weeks when they had to stay in bed, or cut down on normal activities, or their daily activities took extra effort, because of emotional or mental health or the use of alcohol or drugs.
 

Halo

Member
The prevalence of depression was considerably higher in those who spent less than 30 hours a week on the job, compared to those who worked more than 40 hours a week.

Although I found this article quite interesting, I found the above part to be very surprising. I would have thought that the statistics would have been the other way around where working more than 40 hours a week would make depression more prevalent in a person. I would think that that the more hours a week that a person works the more they have the chance at being overworked, overtired, spreading themselves too thin and not taking care of themselves and possibly leading to depression.

Anyway, just my thoughts and how surprised I was at the above statistics.
 

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Perhaps it's a function of WHY those individuals are working longer. If you do it because you WANT to (i.e., you enjoy your work) rather than because you HAVE to, that might make a big difference.
 

Halo

Member
Good point, I never thought of it like that. I guess it would make a big difference and that could account for the above statistics.
 

foghlaim

Member
what\who are blue or white collar workers:confused: :eek:
i've often heard these terms but was never sure what they mean for eg: to me blue collar could mean, a person in the police\ or prison service, a warder maybe.. etc. , over here we often refer to police as the boys in blue.
 

ThatLady

Member
When used in the context used here, "blue collar" generally means a non-professional worker (a skilled trade). This might be someone who works on an assembly line in a factory, a mechanic, a plumber - things like that. "White collar" refers to office workers and professionals. The terms "blue collar" and "white collar" come from the attire usually required for the job. "White collar" workers generally are required to wear suits, dresses, coordinated pants suits, and other office-friendly clothing that the employer considers acceptable to its public image. "Blue collar" workers often wear uniforms to protect their clothing from job-related soil, or their clothing can be just jeans and a shirt, since they're not in the "public eye", so to speak.
 

Daniel

admin@psychlinks.org
Administrator
Workers in sales or service and those in white-collar jobs were more likely than blue-collar workers to have experienced depression.

All that college education for nothing :)
 
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