Study: Being a Waiter Is More Stressful Than Being a Doctor

Published On 10/16/2015 Published On 10/16/2015

Aside from being hard on your feet, bad for your relationships, and crippling to your sleep patterns, waiting tables will just flat out kill you eventually. According to a recent study by Chinese researchers, waiting tables is one of the most stressful jobs and is more likely to cause a stroke than working as a doctor, engineer, or teacher. 

Scientists from the Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China analyzed six studies with 138,782 participants who were followed for 3 to 17 years, classifying certain jobs as "high stress" depending on how much control workers had over their jobs and how physically and psychologically demanding they were. Waiting tables combines long hours and physically demanding work with elements out of the worker's control, like the flying spittle of enraged customers. Thus, it was named a "high stress job." Waiters even beat out doctors to win the saddest competition ever. Yay?

The study also concluded that those in high stress jobs are 22% more likely to have a stroke than those at low stress jobs. But this didn't factor in the variable that people in high stress jobs also tend to smoke and drink more as a result of, well, their terrible jobs. But either way, your server's heart is taking some serious heat -- and that's all before you even consider not tipping them for the services.

Lesson: tip your servers.

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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and feels terrible about not tipping that one time. Send news tips to and follow her at @karatillie.



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