Stress At Work Can Kill
Work really can kill you, according to a study providing the strongest evidence yet of how on-the-job stress raises the risk of heart disease by disrupting the body’s internal systems. The image accompanying this article is from London’s Metro front page story about the study linking stress at work to heart disease.
The findings from a long-running study involving more than 10,000 British civil servants also suggest stress-induced biological changes may play a more direct role than previously thought, said Tarani Chandola, an epidemiologist at University College London. “This is the first large-scale population study looking at the effects of stress measured from everyday working life on heart disease,” said Dr. Chandola, who led the study. “One of the problems is people have been sceptical whether work stress really affects a person biologically.”
Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death
It is caused by fatty deposits that harden and block arteries, high blood pressure which damages blood vessels, and other factors. The researchers measured stress among the civil servants by asking questions about their job demands such as how much control they had at work, how often they took breaks, and how pressed for time they were during the day.
The team conducted seven surveys over a 12-year period and found chronically stressed workers — people determined to be under severe pressure in the first two of the surveys — had a 68 percent higher risk of developing heart disease.
“This study adds to the evidence that the work stress-coronary heart disease association is causal in nature,” the researchers wrote in the European Heart Journal.
All Negative Behaviors Linked to Heart Disease
Behaviour and biological changes likely explain why stress at work causes heart disease, Chandola said. For one, stressed workers eat unhealthy food, smoke, drink and skip exercise — all behaviours linked to heart disease. According to the Health and Safety Executive UK (HSE) work related stress loses the British industry more than 13 million days a year at a cost of £3.7 billion annually. Between 30% and 60% of absence is thought to be stress-related.
A Simple Stress Test
Ask yourself these questions to see if you might be experiencing work-related stress:
- I take work home most nights of the week and / or at weekends
- I think about work problems at home
- I voluntarily work long hours
- Work affects my sleep
- Family and friends complain that I spend too little time with them
- I frequently talk about work at home and with friends
- I find it difficult to relax after work
- I find it difficult to say ‘no’ to requests to undertake additional work
- I find it difficult to delegate
- My self esteem is largely based on my achievement at work
Yes to one or two = you may just be dedicated to your job.
Yes to more than four = you may appear obsessive about work to others.
Stress Related Links and Information
My aim is to present to you some of the most informative content relating to stress and fatigue. These are health related issues which affect the bulk of the population and are generally treated by mainstream physicians with anti-depressants, sleping pills, anxiety pills, blood pressure pills and more. A “pill for every ill”. Can you conquer stress? YES Can you learn to relax? YES. Can it prevent you from developing major chronic illness? YES.
Stress can make you quite unwell, please read further here. In the British study, stressed workers also had lowered heart rate variability — a sign of a poorly-functioning weak heart — and higher-than-normal levels of cortisol, a “stress” hormone that provides a burst of energy for a fight-or-flight response. Happy couples have low salivary cortisol levels. Too much cortisol circulating in the blood stream can damage blood vessels and the heart, Chandola said. “If you are constantly stressed out these biological stress systems become abnormal,” Chandola said. Are you a teacher? You may be heading for burnout, Hotels and restaurants, and education lead the field in burn-out. One in ten workers suffer from burn-out. In the hotel and restaurant sector the proportion of people suffering from burn-out has increased substantially. Burn-out symptoms are most common among people working in education and those working in hospitality industry it seems. In both sectors around one in seven workers suffer from burn-out. Pressure of work, no control over their own work and a bad work atmosphere all increase the chance of a worker suffering from burn-out. Do you work and feel stressed? Do you make poor food choices? Then please read eat right for your adrenal glands. Are you fatigued a lot and have poor sleep patterns? Then have a good look around this web-site for plenty of good information, it may just save you from a heart attack. No job is worth dying for.