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Work and wellbeing

30 January 2009

Silhoettes of people

The impact that starting a new job can have on health and wellbeing is being explored as part of a new study by University researchers.

Dr Emma Wadsworth, of the School of Psychology, is one of the researchers working on the Starting Work Study, a longitudinal project focussing on young people as they start their first job, and those who are relatively new to the world of work.

The study will examine the relationships between work and physical and mental health, and identify areas of stress and job dissatisfaction among young people.

Dr Wadsworth said: "So far, a great deal of what we know about the relationships between work, stress and health comes from research carried out among groups of established workers. However, this makes it difficult to know how much reflects a person’s current work situation and how much reflects their experience of work in the past.

"We are therefore trying this new approach of studying people as they enter work, to look at the extent to which employment is good for health, as well as the adverse and beneficial effects of different elements of work."

The team are looking for people starting work to participate in the project. Taking part involves completing two online questionnaires, the first prior to starting a job, and the second three months later. Everyone who takes part in the project will be given the chance to enter the prize draw and win one of five £100 shopping vouchers. Anyone interested in the research, or seeking more information can contact the team at

The research is being carried out at the Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology at the School, and is funded by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.

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