One of the arguments that most people in lower level corporate or professional positions console themselves with when seeing their more successful and higher-up-the-ladder peers is thinking that a higher position would mean a great deal more daily stress and make life harder in foresight, therefore it wouldn’t really be worth fighting for. But that theory can now be put to sleep as researchers have studied the link between leadership and stress and found out that people in higher ranks are not nearly as stressed as those lower ones.
The study in question was done by British researchers who looked into the military and government and concluded that higher rank was associated with less anxiety and stress levels. Along with her team, Tarani Chandola, The researcher in charge of the study, followed measures of cortisol levels as well as reported anxiety to try to find a correlation between the two and hierarchical status within the establishment.
Cortisol is sometimes called the stress hormone since it appears to be directly linked to metabolism changes that happen due to stress. High cortisol levels account for poor sleep as well as a wide variety of diseases such as diabetes.
The study was done on military and government workers specifically for the unique research opportunity that they provide. In fact, military in the UK generally have better working conditions and therefore will potentially show a thinner gap in stress levels that might be related to the working environment.
The numbers turned out quite conclusive according the results of the research.It was uncovered that the higher the position of the subject the less their cortisol levels were indicative of stress when compared to lower position individuals within the same institution. Same thing went for reported anxiety. Whereas, these two indicators are not usually related, a solid correlation was found between them when studied alongside different ranking positions.
The study also found that the high stress levels of low level employees stay constant into retirement.