Are you happy at work or does the thought of going to work depress you? Everyone has down days when they don’t want to go to work. But can your job actually cause you to be depressed?
A new study, published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, and reported in both Self and The Atlantic magazines suggests that the type of industry you work in can have a significant impact on your risk of depression.
Researchers compared data from about 214,000 Pennsylvanians working in 55 industries. The study showed that bus drivers had the highest rate of depression at 16.2 percent. Other high risk industries included real estate, social work, manufacturing and personal services.
At the other end of the scale, amusement and recreation services workers had the lowest rate of depression, at 6.9 percent. This industry includes sports, fitness and performing arts workers. Other positions that are less likely to cause depression include workers in highway construction, coal mines and air travel.
Falling close to the average depression risk of 10.45 percent across all industries are restaurant workers, educators, engineers and health care workers.
By comparing the characteristics of various industries, the researchers observed that depression risk was higher among workers who had frequent or stressful interactions with the general public or clients. Other high-risk factors included high stress on the job and low physical activity.
A study from the University of Texas at Austin department of sociology noted that women who have high levels of job authority are also at higher risk of depression. The research suggested that while women in authority positions have more education, higher incomes and more prestige, they also combat bias against women in high level positions.
Women are often viewed as lacking the assertiveness necessary for high authority, yet they are also criticized for being too assertive. The researchers believe this conflict may increase stress and depression risks.