BBC News released an article: “Promotion ‘bad for mental health.'”

Here are some excerpts:

[begin excerpts]

Getting promoted at work may be bad for a person’s mental health, a
study suggests.

Warwick University researchers quizzed 1,000 workers who had been
promoted into supervisory or management roles in the past five years.

They were asked about about their health, mental well-being and use of
health services.

The study found that after promotion the quality of an individual’s
mental health deteriorated by 10% on average.

Experts said being given extra responsibility could lead to more stress,
anxiety and depression.

They said the problems could be exacerbated by workers who were promoted
having less time to access health services.

GP visits fell by 20% to less than two a year after promotion, the study
found.

It has long been assumed that a person’s job status directly results in
better health.

<snip>

Lead researcher Chris Boyce said: “Getting promoted at work is not as
great as people think.

“Our research finds that the mental health of managers typically
deteriorates after a job promotion and in a way that goes beyond merely
a short-term change.

“People given senior positions need to be given the proper support and
training to handle the extra responsibility.”

The research will be presented at the Royal Economic Society’s
conference later this month.

[end excerpts]

The article is online at:
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7998675.stm&gt;

Courtesy of Ken Pope.

BBC News released an article: “Long hours link to dementia risk.”

Here are some excerpts:

[begin excerpts]

Long working hours may raise the risk of mental decline and possibly
dementia, research suggests.

The Finnish-led study was based on analysis of 2,214 middle-aged British
civil servants.

It found that those working more than 55 hours a week had poorer mental
skills than those who worked a standard working week.

The American Journal of Epidemiology study found hard workers had
problems with short-term memory and word recall.

<snip>

However, the researchers say key factors could include increased
sleeping problems, depression, an unhealthy lifestyle and a raised risk
of cardiovascular disease, possibly linked to stress.

The civil servants who took part in the study took five different tests
of their mental function, once between 1997 and 1999, and again between
2002 and 2004.

<snip>

The effects were cumulative, the longer the working week was the worse
the test results were.

<snip>

Professor Cary Cooper, an expert in workplace stress at the University
of Lancaster, said it had been long established that consistently
working long hours was bad for general health, and now this study
suggested it was also bad for mental functioning.

<snip>

Harriet Millward, deputy chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Research
Trust, said: “This study should give pause for thought to workaholics.

“We already know that dementia risk can be reduced by maintaining a
balanced diet, regular social interactions and exercising both our
bodies and minds. Perhaps work-life balance should be accounted for too.”

[end excerpts]

The article is online at:
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7909464.stm&gt;.

Courtesy of Ken Pope

To be of use
by Marge Piercy
The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who stand in the line and haul in their places,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

“To be of use” by Marge Piercy © 1973, 1982.
From CIRCLES ON THE WATER © 1982 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and Middlemarsh, Inc.
First published in Lunch magazine.