People who work in public transit, such as bus drivers, top the list for rates of depression, with those working in real estate and social work not far behind, a new study finds.
The least depressed professions are recreation services — like those working in the theatre and at fitness centres — and highway construction, the survey also found.
The study’s authors explain:
“Industries with the highest rates, tended to be those which, on the national level, require frequent or difficult interactions with the public or clients, and have high levels of stress and low levels of physical activity.”
The insights come from insurance claims submitted by almost a quarter of a million individuals working in western Pennsylvania.
Here is the full list of the jobs with the highest levels of depression along with the percentage of people suffering from depression or a condition which involves depression, like bipolar disorder:
- Local/Intercity Passenger Transit — 16.19%
- Real Estate — 15.65%
- Social Services — 14.60%
- Miscellaneous Manufacturing Industries — 14.25%
- Personal Services — 14.25%
- Legal Services — 13.44%
- Environmental Quality/Housing — 13.42%
- Membership Organizations — 13.28%
- Security and Commodity Brokers — 12.60%
- Printing and Publishing — 12.43%
The study’s results are published in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epistemology (Wulsin et al., 2014).
Another link between the jobs with the highest rates of depression was that they mostly involve very low levels of physical activity.
In contrast, the jobs with the lowest rates of depression mostly involved significant physical activity, with their average depression rates all hovering around 7%:
- Recreation services
- Highway construction
- Coal mining
- Air travel
In the middle of the table were the jobs that had average levels of depression (around 10%):
- Human resources
- Health care
- Auto repair
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Image credit: Sander van der Wel