Happy days! A promotion at work could be the key to avoiding heart diseaseFits in with wider evidence that upward social mobility is good
00:57 GMT, 9 June 2012
It's accepted that a promotion is generally good news for your wallet – now a study has found it’s good for your health as well.
Those working in departments with high promotion rates were 20 per cent less likely to develop heart disease than those with little chance of improving their situation.
Researchers studied the employment histories of 4,700 Whitehall civil servants and found those in departments with double the rate of promotion had around a 20 per cent lower chance of being diagnosed with heart disease over the 15-year period of the study, from 1985 to 1999.
Thriving under pressure: Working in an office with a high rate of promotions makes you less likely to develop heart disease than working somewhere with few prospects (file picture)
They took the existing prevalence of heart disease and the grade at which employees joined the civil service into account.
This meant it was not simply the case that researchers found heart disease was less common in people who were originally healthier and from more privileged backgrounds.
Previous research has found that Oscar winners outlive runners-up, Nobel prizewinners outlive nominees and baseball players who reach the Hall of Fame live longer than those who fall short.
The study, conducted by Sir Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology at University College London, and Michael Anderson from the University of California, Berkeley, is published in the Economic Journal.
Sir Michael said the survey showed that ‘favourable shocks can positively impact health’.
He added: ‘There is little question that, for individuals, achieving higher socioeconomic position is good for health.
‘Promotion is one mechanism of upward social mobility. Upward social mobility is good for health.’