A major study of millennials found that those employed on the contracts - where employees are not guaranteed work - are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than those in stable jobs.
By the age of 25, the study found, these workers are also less likely to report feeling healthy.
The news comes on the same day that Labour slammed Glastonbury bosses for employing zero hour workers, with a source refusing to rule out a boycott of the festival by party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Researchers at UCL’s Institute of Education analysed data from more than 7,700 people born in England between 1989 and 1990.
Five percent were employed on zero hours contracts.
Dr Morag Henderson, lead author of the report, said there was evidence that people with “a precarious relationship to the labour market” are more at risk of poor mental and physical health.
“One explanation for these findings is that financial stress or the stress associated with having a low-status job increases the risk of poor mental health,” she said.
“It may also be that the worry of having no work or irregular work triggers physical symptoms of stress, including chest pain, headaches and muscle tension.”
The study also found that young adults who are unemployed are more than twice as likely as those in work to suffer a mental illness.
Meanwhile, shift workers have an increased risk of psychological problems than those working regular hours.