People with multiple jobs more at risk for injury

By Sheryl Kay • Published: February 17th, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

With the economy the way it is, it’s not at all unusual to meet people who have more than one job. But working at more than one job can wreak havoc with your life, from managing a schedule to preserving family time. And now research published in the American Journal of Public Health shows that those with multiple jobs face more risk for bodily injury, too.

The study involved a review of data from the National Health Interview Survey. More than 250,000 people participated in answering workplace and health-related questions over a 15-year period. Analysis showed that almost 9 percent of Americans work at more than one job, and those individuals had a 27 percent higher rate of injuries at work. Outside the workplace, the risk of injuries was even worse. People who worked multiple jobs had a 34 percent higher rate of risk for injury, and that number grew for certain groups of people, including younger women, blue collar workers and those who were single.

Previous studies had looked more at the type of professions that might cause injury and had not considered the impact from working multiple jobs. Because the findings from this investigation were based on health records, the researchers did not have definitive evidence for what underlying factors may have been influencing the big disparity in injury risk rates. But given the increased risk to those with more than one job, the investigators proposed that the big divergence may be due to lifestyle differences between folks who just work one job, and those who work at two or more jobs. People who commit to two careers are likely to experience more stress, added fatigue from working more than a 40-hour work week, and a lack of sufficient sleep than people who work at a single job.

Regardless of how many jobs you have, try to get enough sleep and to carve out some time for relaxation. Achieving work-life balance can help you stay healthy and happy.