Workplace Stress's Biggest Impact

The Stanford study found the lack of health insurance had the biggest impact on physician-diagnosed mortality, while work-life conflict greatly affected people's mental and physical health in self-reporting.

Top Stressors on Doctor-Reported Illnesses

(from lowest to highest)

  • Job insecurity

  • Long work hours/overtime

  • Low social support at work

  • Low job control

  • Secondhand smoke exposure

  • Unemployment

  • Exposure to shift work

  • High job demands

  • Low organizational justice †

  • No health insurance

Top Stressors on Mortality

(from lowest to highest)

  • Secondhand smoke exposure

  • Work/family conflict †

  • Long work hours/overtime †

  • No health insurance

  • Unemployment

  • Low job control

Top Stressors on Self-Rated Physical Health

(from lowest to highest)

  • Low organizational justice

  • Low social support at work

  • No health insurance

  • Low job control

  • High job demands

  • Secondhand smoke exposure

  • Job insecurity

  • Unemployment †

  • Work-family conflict

Top Stressors on Self-Rated Mental Health

(from lowest to highest)

  • Long work hours/overtime

  • Exposure to shift work

  • Low social support at work

  • Low job control

  • Job insecurity

  • Secondhand smoke exposure

  • Low organizational justice

  • High job demands

  • Unemployment

  • Work-family conflict

The exposures listed here increase the odds of negative health outcomes. No health insurance, for example, increased the odds of a physician-diagnosed health condition by more than 100 percent.

† Calculated with two studies or fewer, and may be less reliable.