NewsNational NewsScripps News


Work schedules, salary changes connected to psychological distress

Those who work day shifts, have stable salaries and have paid sick leave are far less likely to have serious psychological distress.
Work schedules, salary changes connected to psychological distress
Posted at 7:07 AM, Apr 25, 2023

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released results from the National Health Interview Survey, which indicated things like work hours and salary can play major factors in stress. 

Work hours

Those who work evening and rotating shifts are more likely to experience serious psychological distress, the survey found.

The study indicated that 4.8% of adults ages 18-64 who usually work evening or night shifts experience serious psychological distress. The data indicates that nighttime workers are more than twice as likely to have distress.

About 3.9% of adults 18-64 who work rotating shifts experience serious psychological distress, the CDC’s analysis said. 

Work schedule flexibility also was a major factor. Those who cannot easily change their schedule were nearly twice as likely to suffer from distress than those who can. 

The survey found 2.9% of those with varying schedules suffered distress compared to 2.6% of those without varying schedules. 

SEE MORE: Forest therapy is helping wildfire survivors heal their mental health

Changes in salary

Those who have varying salaries also experience higher levels of distress. Nearly 3.5% of adults ages 18-64 who have highly variable salaries every month report serious distress. About 2.4% of those who experience little to no change in salary report serious physiological distress. 

The survey also noted that those who are at least somewhat likely to lose their job in the next 12 months are 2.5 times more likely to experience distress compared to those not at all likely to lose their job. 

Sick leave

Nearly 3.9% of workers without paid sick leave report distress, while 2.2% of workers with paid sick leave also experience distress. 

What is serious psychological distress?

The CDC uses the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale to determine distress levels. The scale asks how often the person experiences symptoms such as nervousness or hopelessness. 

Those who score a 13 out of 30 on the scale are considered to have serious physiological distress. 

You can take the test online. 

Trending stories at