According to a recent survey, self-employed millennials — those who are self-employed or work for themselves outside a professional job — are the most stressed out among all age groups, working over 12 hours a day (about 20 percent longer than their average co-workers) and feeling lack of control and frustration over their lack of control over their workload.
Results of a YouGov survey of approximately 1,000 active members of Generation Z, millennials, and “creative professionals” from various countries were released on Monday. The survey was commissioned by national disability insurance company Uipa, to gain a better understanding of people living with disabilities around the world, as well as the social and physical barriers that limit their ability to work.
Some surprising findings from the survey include:
-Over 60 percent of Americans reported that their mental health suffered from overwork, with one third describing the stress as high
-71 percent of young Canadians described daily working pressure as “bad” or “very bad”
-88 percent of young Americans defined lack of control of their workload as “bad” or “very bad”
-A majority of those surveyed — 88 percent — found it “impossible” to disconnect and spend time with friends and family because of the amount of information they have to manage
-20 percent of adults, a historically high in the world, suffer from an anxiety disorder of some kind, from overwork (35 percent) to emotional exhaustion (22 percent) to depression (14 percent).
The Uipa survey shows how the pressure placed on millennials — those born between 1980 and 2000 — to adapt to shifting job markets has played a key role in increasing their stress levels. Indeed, over 60 percent of millennials reported that their mental health suffered from overwork.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), fatigue is the fourth most common physical health problem worldwide, after cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illnesses and diseases of the digestive system. In fact, 75 percent of physically active people globally report feeling tired on a regular basis, with particularly high rates in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 2012, 35 percent of adults worldwide reported experiencing exhaustion, at least once per week, according to another YouGov survey. Doctors agree that exhaustion leads to physical problems like headaches, exhaustion and muscle tightness.
Dr. Douglas Rivlin, a New York City specialist in mental health, said that overworked millennials will likely deal with the physical and mental consequences in various ways. The over-scheduled generation may seek ways to compensate, developing new hobbies, enrolling in classes or working out more to manage their anxiety and stress levels. Rivlin says these coping mechanisms may keep these new behaviors from becoming habits. Instead, they could lead to new problems like obesity, poor sleep, and mental health issues.
“Not only do most people feel fatigued, they also get sick more often and face higher rates of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis,” says Rivlin.
Sophie-Claire King, a former global communications chief for Wells Fargo, says the reason millennials are suffering from exhaustion is more complex. King says that being self-employed and living more independently adds to the stress, but that people have always had to balance managing their time and commitments with work.
“For too long, bosses have been allowed to offload work onto staff while the boss comes home in time to brush their teeth or have dinner with the family,” King says. “If you’re a wealthy CEO you have the privilege of taking time off, but it’s harder for a middle manager working in one of the tens of thousands of call centers in China who lives in a low-income area of the country.”
It’s ironic that the generation that was raised by free-wheeling, technology-driven parents who don’t seem to understand the physical impact of too much screen time might suffer from similar health issues. King says that making better choices about healthy work/life balance is also important.
“I’ve made it my life’s work to become comfortable with discomforts like poor sleep, hair loss, and sound painful, such as a burning in the middle of the back,” King says. “By making decisions to look after my wellbeing, I feel more energized and empowered, and I’m able to take better care of myself.”
Read the full story at YouGov.com.
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