If you are a workaholic, then there are chances you may suffer negative mental and physical health outcomes such as depression, anxiety or sleep disorder, a new study suggests. The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, indicates that people with higher work addiction risk compared to people with low work addiction risk have twice the risk of developing depression.
Sleep quality was lower to workers with high risk of work addiction compared to workers with low risk of work addiction. Also women had almost twice the work addiction risk than men, the researchers said. "We found that job demands could be the most important factor that can develop work addiction risk. So this factor should be controlled or should be investigated by the organization's manager, for example, HR staff, psychologists," said researcher Morteza Charkhabi from Higher School of Economics in Russia.
Workaholics are people who usually work seven and more hours more than others per week. For the study, the team aimed to demonstrate the extent to which the work addiction risk is associated with the perception of work (job demands and job control) and mental health in four job categories suggested by Karasek's model or Job Demand-Control-Support model (JDCS).
The JDCS model assumes four various work environments (four quadrants) in which workers may experience a different level of job demands and job control: passive, low-strain, active, and tense/job-strain. Job control is the extent to which an employee feels control over doing work.
The researchers collected data from 187 out of 1,580 (11.8 per cent) French workers who agreed to participate in a cross-sectional study. They team divided all the participants based on their occupational groups and investigated the link between work addiction risk and mental and physical health outcomes.
The results show that high job demands at work are strongly associated with work addiction risk but the job control level does not play the same role. The prevalence of work addiction risk is higher for active and high-strain workers than for passive and low-strain workers.