Waitering isn’t exactly an easy job but it turns out it’s supposed to be whole lot more stressful than being a neurosurgeon.
To be honest, I’ve always thought waitering and working in the service industry must be pretty stressful. You’re on your feet all day, rushing around with very little breaks and to top it off you’re always on edge, in case you drop food all over someone.
I couldn’t do it, but then again I wouldn’t have thought the stress of smashing a glass could outweigh the stress of performing an intricate operation.
Apparently though, according to Munchies, scientists have found intense jobs which offer employees very little control, are actually extremely damaging to a person’s health.
With that in mind it’s no wonder jobs such as waiting on tables – with long hours and often crap pay – are actually a lot more stressful than you might think.
Scientists at the Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China, studied data from 138,700 participants, used in six different studies on job related health, to reach their fascinating findings.
They created four groups circulating around control, as well as how physically demanding a job was, with low demand and control jobs – like manual labour – labelled ‘Passive’ and high control jobs like scientists, ‘Low Stress.’
Professions like teachers or doctors, who fall under both the high demand and control groups were labelled ‘Active’ and the demanding, but low control jobs such as waitering were labelled ‘High Stress.’
Furthering that, they found those in the food service industry, have a 22 per cent – 33 per cent for women – higher risk chance of having a stroke, than those with low stress jobs.
So it seems their research suggests work stress depends on the level of control and respect you have in a role, so a neurosurgeon may be exhausted after a day’s operating, but they probably feel a hell of a lot more valued in their workplace than a waiter.
This means feeling undervalued, under appreciated, physically exhausted and over worked can have a real negative impact on a person’s wellbeing and increase their risk of severe – and sometimes fatal – health problems by a substantial amount.
They also suggested in these particular types of job roles, people may turn to drink and to smoking to help them deal with their work, which could exacerbate health problems and put them at even further risk.
Dingli Xu said:
Having a lot of job stress has been linked to heart disease but studies on job stress and stroke have shown inconsistent results.
It’s possible that high stress jobs lead to more unhealthy behaviours, such as poor eating habits, smoking, and a lack of exercise.
Waitering wouldn’t exactly have sprung to mind when considering stressful jobs, but when you think about it, they work incredibly hard for very little rewards.
Next time you’re out enjoying your brunch, just spare a thought for the weary souls serving you and maybe you’ll think twice abut complaining about your cold toast…