Monday, September 24, 2012

'Having a job makes you sick'

Last week's London Evening Standard featured a hard-hitting 'Special report' regarding youth employment. Apparently, the hidden cost of youth employment is depression and poor physical health. For thousands of young people the brutal reality of life with a job is the start of a spiral into depression, anxiety and ill health. They start work with high expectations but their dreams come to nothing.

Having a job can lead to depression, inertia and a sense of worthlessness, the report continues. A random cardiologist stated that "there's strong evidence that the employed are more likely, through boredom and low self-esteem, to indulge in excessive alcohol consumption and smoke."

A random professor then virtually repeats this by saying how "employment has an impact on health behaviours. It is associated with increased smoking, alcohol consumption and decreased physical activity, contributing to an increased risk of serious illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and cancer."

This will strike a chord with most office workers, who sit down and stare at a screen for eight hours a day, with regular after work drinks in the pub and possibly smoking and even doing drugs. On top of that, the "unhealthy atmosphere" of many offices, combined with being crammed like sardines on public transport, mean diseases, from man flu to Ebola, can "spread like wildfire".

Controversially, the professor goes on to say that unemployment is "good for health. London boroughs should seek to stimulate unemployment opportunities, particularly those that help young people stay out of work."

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