Job Satisfaction Tied to Better Heart Health, Well-Being
Texas Health Resources is advancing the science of well-being to keep you healthier. From job satisfaction to social relationships to lifestyle habits, every aspect of your life affects well-being. This is the third of a four-part series.
Truth: Job satisfaction is connected to your cholesterol
Are bad workplaces killing people? Working on your well-being means finding a profession worth pursuing — and putting your heart into it. Studies show that working at an endeavor you love is quite literally good for your heart — and not feeling engaged by what you do every day could actually have a negative impact on your well-being.
In one study, employees were tracked for two years to examine the relationship between their level of engagement at work and changes in their cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These workers were surveyed every six months about their jobs, and blood samples were connected to measure cholesterol and triglycerides, both indicators of heart health.
The result? Researchers found that as workers became more engaged, their total cholesterol and triglyceride levels significantly decreased. And those with decreasing levels of engagement at work had an increase in total cholesterol and triglycerides. These results put hard data behind the level of influence our workplace experiences have on our physical health and well-being.
“Numbers like these bear out what we have told patients anecdotally for years,” said Tricia Nguyen, M.D., executive vice president of population health and president of Texas Health Population Health, Education & Innovation Center. “It’s exciting to see science support what we have known was a good thing for our patients all along — working at doing something you love is truly good for your well-being.”
Chinese philosopher Confucius is credited with saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” While engagement at a job or endeavor you love certainly makes working more personally rewarding, the science behind it shows that it may also help improve your well-being and perhaps enrich your quality and length of life.
Is your job something you put your heart into on a daily basis? Tell us about it in the comments.
Read more about the science behind it:
- Rath, Tom, Harter, Jim, Harter, James K. Well Being: The Five Essential Elements, New York, NY. Gallup Press, 2010 (page 24-25)