You can die of boredom in the Civil Service

Writer and broadcaster Charlie Brooker once commented that, no matter how acute the case, it is impossible to actually die of boredom.  To realise you are in the process of kicking the bucket is in itself interesting enough to relieve you from a bout of terminal melancholy.

However, researchers at University College London have shown that Mr. Brooker overlooked one factor, namely a career in the civil service. 

Scientists Annie Britton and Martin J. Shipley studied data from over 7,500 civil servants, with ages ranging from 35 to 55, which showed the individual’s levels of boredom.

10 percent of those involved in the study, which focused on a period between 1985 and 1988, reported that they had feelings of boredom in the preceding month.

Upon investigating the data more recently it was discovered that those with high levels of boredom were found to be 37 percent more likely to have died since taking part in the survey than their more fulfilled colleagues, according to

One of the key reasons given for this by the UCL researchers is that boredom leads people towards feelings of despondency and emptiness, which can in turn encourage the development of health detrimental habits such as smoking, drinking and taking drugs to fill the void.

And if the labels on the front of cigarettes are to be believed then such activities can be bad news for one’s ticker.

Shipley said that the study illustrates how people with menial jobs should pick up hobbies rather than drinking and smoking themselves into oblivion upon downing tools at the end of the day.   

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