Add tense, physically demanding and emotionally draining work to the mix and, well, you've compounded that stress. Pay is undoubtedly part of the reason why waitressing has been discovered to be one of the most stressful jobs for more than 20 years. Yes, even when compared to other high-risk professions. There is generally a high employee turnover in the restaurant industry, due to stress and the impact that work has on the mind and body.
Studies show that waiters and waitresses have a 22 percent higher risk of having a stroke, on average, than people with less stressful jobs. Waiters and waitresses are the face of the restaurant; their tips and livelihood depend on providing a satisfying dining experience for customers. However, they must rely on the bar to prepare the beverage order quickly and correctly. The waiter or waitress cannot serve food until the dishes are prepared, in a timely manner and according to the customer's specifications.
If something goes wrong, it is they who take the blame, the ones who earn the least money. Chinese researchers have determined that jobs with low salaries and high workloads, such as being a waitress, are the most stressful and can put those who perform them at a much greater risk of developing heart disease, cancer and strokes. By comparison, a job such as serving in a restaurant, which often involves a lack of a sense of empowerment, customer demands, management, and an unsociable schedule, can have the worst impact on stress. The authors analyzed six previous studies and grouped jobs according to the degree to which workers have control over their tasks and how demanding the work was, taking into account time pressure, mental stress and coordination.
When they re-divided participants by gender, scientists found that women in high-stress jobs had a 33% higher risk of having a stroke than women in low-stress jobs. Commenting on the findings, lead researcher Dingli Xu said that more research is needed to determine if work stress is directly related to an increased risk of stroke or if external factors related to work stress are to blame. It may seem common sense that demanding jobs with little control equate to more stress, but the study contained some severe warnings, showing that 4.4 percent of a person's risk of stroke is due to work stress, a figure that increases to 6.5 percent in women. People in passive and active employment had no greater risk of having a stroke compared to people placed in the low-stress job category.
People with high-stress jobs were 22 percent more at risk of having a stroke than people with low-stress jobs in general and were 58 percent more likely to have an ischemic stroke. If you look at the work of a neurosurgeon, who performs surgery on intricate parts of the brain, where in most cases it could be to save someone's life, you'd think that this is one of the most stressful jobs available.