You can have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and even a LinkedIn business profile, but there’s no point in running a social media campaign if it’s not designed to drive leads to your business. Learn more in the eBook. Download now!

The Health Benefits of Social Business


overqualifiedSuffice to say, having too little education is generally regarded to be a bad thing, not least for our physical and mental health.  Can the opposite apply though?  What if we have too much education?

Now I hear what you say.  How can anyone have too much knowledge?  Ordinarily I’d agree, but in this particular blog I’m looking at those of us who have been in jobs where our skills weren’t being utilised.  Over educated in this sense is the age old trap of being over qualified for a job.

Researchers from Ghent University in Belgium wanted to test their hypothesis that people who are over qualified are generally not a happy bunch.

They analysed nearly 17,000 employed people from over 21 countries to try and understand their level of depression.  They found that those who were not tapping into their full skillset were at an increased risk of depression, with the main reasons being that they were not being sufficiently challenged at work.  Couple this with a lack of status and prestige and it’s not a happy picture.

It provides a fascinating contrast to the famous Whitehall Study that found that those in high status positions were significantly less likely to have a whole range of health issues.  Chillingly, life expectancy was also much higher the higher the greasy pole one climbed.

Another interesting finding in the Belgian study was the affect of a highly skilled workforce on an entire country.  They found that when a nation had many highly educated people, it had an inverse effect on the mental health of all with a university degree.

In countries where more education did not provide significantly more job security or salary, even those with degrees who had jobs that matched their skill level saw declines in their mental health on average.

“If the economic returns of education decrease, it affects the mental health of all the well-educated,” the researchers said.

Social business obviously has many benefits, but with its ability to tap into the skills and knowledge of employees, regardless of their official position or grade, it is perhaps worth advocates of it trumpeting its health benefits as well.

While people may start out with a job that they are overqualified for in the beginning of their career, they need opportunities to move upward in their field within a few years, or they could experience declines in mental health, Bracke said.

Join The Conversation

Upcoming Webinars


  • July 29, 2015
    Real-time marketing: you know it's a critical element in your business strategy, but are you finding it hard to master? You're not alone....
  • July 15, 2015
    Social has given brands and marketers a great new tool -- but it's a tool that can be as intimidating as it is powerful. At the top of t...