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Healthline Connects

Money really isn't Everything: Health Advantages of Creative Work


Doing challenging creative work that you enjoy and having control over your daily routine is the equivalent, in terms of health advantages, of being 7 years younger than your stated age, having 2 more years of education or 15 times higher household income.

Sociology professor John Mirowsky found that work itself has health benefits for people - providing opportunities for engagement in problem solving activities and having opportunities for learning. People who give up working tend to have fewer opportunities for creativity - despite the sacrifices of independence.

In one of my former lives as a disability case manager, I worked with people who were disabled due to occupational injuries. The majority of people of worked with wanted to continue working in some capacity and did everything in their power to return to work. It was the railroad workers - heavy laborers who had basically been married to their jobs for decades that had the most difficulty transitioning to disability retirement. Psychologically, it was devastating for them, as devastating as a divorce. Their identity, their friendships, their youth was tied up in their jobs and to be unable to continue working was really hard on them.

We hear a lot about insurance scammers, but honestly, I met very few in the course of my career. When they were bad, they were very bad. The energy, creativity and resourcefulness that some people would devote to trying to get out of working and winning a disability retirement package indicated a higher level of functioning better suited to a different line of work any way - say politics?

Much as we all complain about work, coworkers, bosses, projects deadlines - we are fortunate to have jobs. Especially me these days - I have a teenager at home...I need my job to keep me somewhat sane...

Thank you M dot for use of photo...
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The Healthline Editorial team writes about the latest health news, policy, and research.

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