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Unemployment, Job Loss, Stress and Health - New Research

( [email protected] ) May 15, 2009 03:58 PM EDT
Researchers on Friday made public a large study with a finding that we should not find surprising: Losing your job may make you sick.

Researchers on Friday made public a large study with a finding that we should not find surprising: Losing your job may make you sick.

In a study of a Harvard School of Health researcher, workers who lost a job through no fault of their own, she found, were twice as likely to report developing a new ailment like high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease over the next year and a half, compared to people who were continuously employed.

The following was reported in a NY Times article of May 8, 2009.

Only 6 percent of people with steady jobs developed a new health condition during each survey period of about a year and a half, compared with 10 percent of those who had lost a job during the same period.

David Williams, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who was not involved in the research, said the study is a reminder that job loss and other life stressors have a tremendous impact on both mental and physical health and contribute to the development of chronic conditions.

"We know that stress affects health," said Dr. Williams, director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America. "It causes changes in physiological function in multiple ways, and it can lead to alterations in health behavior. People no longer exercise, they eat more, they drink more. People who smoke, smoke more on high stress days."

If you've lost your job recently, how are you handling your stressful situation? Are you excluding God in your "battle" or distress? Are you attempting to manage on your own by falling back into an unhealthy habit or an addictive behavior to cope? Or, are you turning towards God by asking and relying on His help?

God wants us to choose Him as our source of strength when times are tough.

Read one of my blog posts about finding strength in God during difficult times.

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Dale Fletcher is the founder of Faith and Health Connection. A speaker and wellness coach who lives in Charlotte, NC, Dale conducts workshops and retreats on personal wellness/wholeness and the link between faith and health. He is a member of the Christian Medical Association, the Society for Spirituality, Theology & Health and the Christian Coaches Network. Connect with Dale at Faith and Health Connection.