Study shows health benefit in joblessness

Kyodo

The determination to stay healthy while looking for a new job apparently keeps many laid off workers in Japan from resorting to alcohol or drugs, according to a new study released Saturday.

The study, produced by a team of researchers including Tatsuya Ishitake, an associate professor at Kurume University’s medical department, shows that people generally maintain their lifestyle patterns for up to 15 months after losing their jobs.

The results are based on a poll of 225 people between 41 and 60 years old who worked for major companies that went bankrupt in 1998. Ishitake’s team studied their lifestyles, alcohol intake and stress levels three months after losing their jobs and one year later.

The researchers examined both those still without jobs and those with part-time jobs and full-time jobs, but found no significant changes in their lives.

Similar surveys in the United States and Europe have found many cases in which people become addicted to alcohol and drugs after losing their jobs. In Japan, however, there seems to be a comparatively strong sense of awareness of the importance of good health in landing on a new job, Ishitake said, analyzing the results.