People with paid work feel healthier than those without

People who have a paid job generally feel healthier than people without a job, Statistics Netherlands reported on Monday. 90 percent of employed persons describe their own health as good or excellent, compared to 76 percent of people with no work. On a scale of one to five, working people give their health a score of 3.4 while non-working people score their's 3.0 on average.

The stats office based these conclusions on a survey conducted over the period 2007 to 2017. In order to assess whether people who are less healthy find it more difficult to find work, or whether perceived health is influenced by employment situation, Statistics Netherlands followed a group of 112 thousand people for different periods varying from two to 10 years. The respondents reported their health and employment situation.

The researchers found that over 40 percent of people with no work and excellent health found paid work during the period studied. Of those who considered their health poor, 7 percent found a job. Losing one's job also varied according to the degree of health. Healthier people lost their job less often than those with poorer health, 6 percent of permanent employees and 15 percent of flex workers lost their job as their health deteriorated. 

People without work are more likely to experience a decline in health than their working counterparts, the stats office found. Of the non-working respondents who initially reported their health to be "very good" or "excellent", 60 percent reported a deterioration during the survey period. Among employed it was 55 percent. 

The chance of finding or losing a job also depends on other characteristics like gender, age, level of education, and profession. These characteristics also seem to play a role in perceived health, the stats office said. Women, people with a low level of education, and the elderly more often reported poorer health than men, more educated people, and young people. 

"Even if all these characteristics are taken into account, it remains true that perceived health is related to the chance of finding or losing a job," Statistics Netherlands said. "And vice versa, that having or not having paid work is related to changes in perceived health."