How many times have you said, “at least I have a job,” in an attempt to make yourself feel better about hating your 9 to 5? Well, new research indicates that a poor-quality or stressful job might be worse for your health than being unemployed.

Scientists at the University of Manchester looked at chronic stress levels in a study of 1,000 unemployed individuals from 2009 to 2010. Then, the team followed up with participants over several years to determine how stress levels changed as people found jobs. This was measured by looking at hormones and other biomarkers associated with stress.

They found that snagging a job wasn’t enough to lower stress. In fact, those who had the highest amounts of chronic stress were people who took a bad job just to be employed. Those with the lowest stress levels, unsurprisingly, were individuals who found quality work, according to a university statement. 

Many psychologists believe that unemployment can harm our emotional well-being as people feel helpless. Notable German psychologist Erik Erikson believes that emotional development in part relies on how much we can contribute to ourselves, families and communities. Unemployment, it's thought, takes a toll on our self esteem, which ultimately causes anxiety.

This new study, though, found that people who obtained less-than-ideal jobs did not enjoy an improvement in mental health compared to unemployed subjects. Good jobs did improve one’s mental health scores.

As for physical health, working any job (even one you dread going to in the morning) was linked to positive changes. The findings make sense given that unemployment has been associated with weight gain, according to the Washington Post.  

Maryland resident Eric Steiner spoke to the paper about his 50-pound weight gain after getting laid off from his position as a dump truck driver.

“You don’t even feel like going outside to take a walk around the block,” Steiner told the paper. “You eat more junk food. You’re so depressed you just want to put a gun to your head.”

“A high unemployment rate is a proxy for many economic and socioeconomic determinants of health,” said Harry Zhang, a professor specializing in health economics at Old Dominion University, in the article. “For people living in areas with high unemployment, everything is messed up. You have poverty. High crime. Low education levels. And people rely on food to comfort themselves, to make them feel better.”

If you’re unemployed, it’s tempting to jump on the first opportunity that comes your way, but this study indicates that it might just be better to hold off until the right opportunity comes along (if you can financially afford it).

​”Job quality cannot be disregarded from the employment success of the unemployed,” study co-author Professor Tarani Chandola said in a statement. “Just as good work is good for health, we must also remember that poor quality work can be detrimental to health.”