Can working in a large government bureaucracy characterized by a high employee turnover rate, group think, outdated technology, risk aversion, lethargy, apathy, significant incompetence, enormous wasting of tax dollars, staff weight gain, a degree of sadism, and a sort of collective depression, be harmful to one’s health?
There has only been a vague sense that such a lack of fulfillment and continual stagnation could be damaging. But recently a research study came up that seems to corroborate the possibility that being perpetually bored in the workplace could be hazardous to one’s health. British public health researchers studied British civil servants – read government workers – and found there could be a link between occupational boredom and heart disease.
“We also found that those with a great deal of boredom were more likely to die during follow-up than those not bored at all. In particular, they were more likely to die from a CVD fatal event…” (Source: Oxford Journals)
The potential connection between persistent boredom and heart disease runs through the unhealthy behaviors people might engage in to make themselves feel something other than boredom, such as overeating, drinking too much alcohol, and smoking. Depression could also result from remaining in a work situation that is constantly frustrating: because the bureaucracy is so tangled in red tape, the workers can barely ever get anything done, and when they do the results are so insignificant they can reap very little satisfaction. This experience is repeated over and over again for years until they quit, retire or die.
Another potential factor is that the workplace apathy leaves little desire for physical movement so the office staff does almost no exercise during the day, and by the time they get home there is even less interest. Then they turn on the television and wind up sitting most of the evening after sitting all day in the pall of their workplace.
All this sitting, research suggests, is bad for health, “given the consistent links between sedentary behavior and both death and disease, and the ubiquity of sedentary behavior in our society, we should be very concerned about the health impact of sedentary behavior.” (Source: Scientific American)
Image Credit: VeronicaTherese