Promotions can harm your mental health

Mental health deteriorated by 10%

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 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. While the study found no effect on a person’s physical health over the period, researchers warned the mental strain could lead to serious problems.

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.

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