Promotions may lead to short term health problems

By Drum Digital
16 January 2017

Getting a promotion may have negative effects on our health, according to a new study,Stockholm University

Getting a promotion may have negative effects on our health, according to a new study.

While many dream of moving up in their workplace and receiving a pay rise, they may want to take into consideration how it will impact their well-being as research has found men and women who move up the career ladder complain of feeling depressed and sick after taking on more responsibilities.

Experts at Stockholm University monitored 2,000 women and 1,400 men in Sweden for six years between 2008 and 2014. Of these people, around two-thirds reported no promotions during this time, while 700 moved up once, 367 twice and 139 had three promotions. A further 50 participants moved up four times.

Participants were then asked to report back on their general health using a scale ranging from "very good" to "very bad", as well as being asked questions to decipher their depression levels.

The people who were promoted within the last two to four years were more likely to claim their health was declining, with men often reporting more mental health issues while women reported physical illnesses.

“Job promotion is associated with decreased self-rated health and increased depression in both men and women for up to four years,” the researchers wrote in the International Journal of Epidemiology, noting that this health impediment was more than likely “short term” and would clear up between four to eight years after the step up.

“Being promoted often means longer hours and greater responsibilities – which can take a toll on your health until you eventually adjust to it. Not everyone is suited to promotion,” Professor Cary Cooper, an expert in organisational psychology at Manchester Business School, added.

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