The latest trend these days is “fake news.”
Fake news can be in several forms. In some circles, any news story that is considered negative or unfair is called fake news; in other circles, any story that uses only anonymous sources is fake news. In yet other circles, fake news could be a headline that contradicts or misleads the actual content of the story.
I am calling a case of fake news with a brief that appeared in a recent issue of Professional Safety magazine. The brief is about a poll that was conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard University, the results of the poll provided for a misleading headline.
Apparently giving away the bias of the pollsters, the poll of various workers across a wide spectrum of the economy confirmed that people make the connection between work and “negative health outcomes.” The implication is that a majority of those polled had this answer to questions about overall health and the influence of work on that health. The last I checked, a majority assumes at least 50 percent or more of those polled.
The actual reality was a bit different than the propaganda.
It was admitted that 44 percent of workers polled claimed that their work affects their overall health – this effect being either positive or negative. When breaking out the poll to those workers which claim that their work has a negative impact on health, no single group had more than 35 percent claiming negative impacts (that being people with disabilities).
The headline seems to make us think that work is somehow dangerous for us, and yet the truth of the survey says that, liberally speaking, only about three in 10 respondents that work has a negative impact on their overall health and well-behing. That means tthat more than wo-thirds of people say that work has no impact, or a positive effect on health.
To be fair, the same poll says that almost 45 percent of people polled say that work has a negative impact on their stress level, which of course can be a channel through which poor health may be manifested.
Most people appreciate a hard day’s work. Work is dignity and being physically, mentally and/or emotionally active is good for us spiritually and mentally in terms of health and well-being. This poll actually shows it, as the actual majority in the poll says that work either has a positive or neutral impact on overall health, and a postive or neutral impact on our stress levels. It is irresponsible to promote a minority report just to forward an agenda or ideology.