Men who are unemployed for two years show faster signs of ageing than those who keep a job, new research has found.
So the next time you’re feeling too tired to go to work on a Monday, remind yourself that your job could be what’s keeping you looking fresh-faced and youthful.
According to researcher from Imperial College London and the University Oulu, Finland, the financial and emotional stress of unemployment makes you age faster.
Researchers studied blood samples and unemployment records of 5,500 men and women from 1997 – when all participants were aged 31 – and measured tiny structures in the blood called telomeres, which protect the genetic code from deteriorating.
Telomeres shorten over a person’s lifetime and their length is considered a measurement for biological ageing.
The study found men who had been unemployed for more than two of the preceding three years were more likely to have short telomeres than men who continuously held down a job.
“Shorter telomeres are linked to a higher risk of various age-related diseases and earlier death,” researcher Jessica Buxton, of Imperial College London, told Daily Mail.
“Stressful life experiences in childhood and adulthood have previously been linked to accelerated telomere shortening. ‘We have now shown that long-term unemployment may cause premature ageing too.”