To do their analysis, researchers divided people into 18 different groups by race, education and sex.
They then looked at 10 different workplace factors — including unemployment and layoffs, the absence of health insurance, shift work, long working hours, job insecurity and work-family conflict and estimated the effect that each would have on annual mortality and life expectancy.
The data show that people with less education are much more likely to end up in jobs with more unhealthy workplace practices that cut down on one’s life span.
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Unemployment and layoffs, and a lack of health insurance were the factors that exerted the biggest influence on employee’s life expectancy.
Low job control was the next biggest influence for both men and women, followed by job insecurity and shift work.
The implication of the findings are pretty clear: Employees need to provide a healthier work environment especially for workers with less education.
Employers can achieve this simply by treating their workers better-steadier employment terms, health insurance and less working hours.
Besides working conditions, race and education also play a role in the shorter life expectancy of employees.
Men with 12 or fewer years of education were the hardest hit, with non-Hispanic black men losing nearly 2.8 years of life to work-related stress, followed by Hispanic men at 2.3 years and non-Hispanic white men at 1.72 years.
There emerged a correlation between the levels of education and stress. Amongst men with 17 or more years of education, black men lost about one year, followed by Hispanic men at 0.55 years and white men at 0.42 years.
Women also demonstrated a similar trend, regardless of race. Amongst those with 17 or more years of education, loss of life to stress was less than a year, compared to women with 12 or fewer years of education (Hispanics lost 2.06 years, non-Hispanic black women 1.92 years and non-Hispanic white women 1.4 years).
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