You’ve often been warned that too much stress at work can have a very negative impact on your health in the long run. Stress is often regarded as a cause for many conditions, such as heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, even cancer and obesity.
A new study reveals that too much stress at work can have as many negative consequences on your health as secondhand smoking.
The research conducted by experts from Harvard and Stanford looked at the data collected in 228 studies, that analyzed the impact of workplace stress. Apart from stress being as harmful as secondhand smoking, the team of researchers also discovered that the conflict work-family increases the risk of getting ill by as much as 90 percent.
It is a known fact that most people like stability, so it should not come as a surprise that job insecurity threatens to harm our health as well. People who feel that, have a 50 percent higher chances of getting sick.
If your job is too demanding, you have a 35 percent higher likelihood of suffering from a disease, while long working hours will spike up mortality rates by almost 20 percent.
This is hardly shocking news for major corporations, given that they have been offering health benefits and access to wellness programs for a long time. Employees can go to the gym, swimming pool, private clinics for free. However, This does not seem to have changed the situation too much.
“Wellness programs are great at doing what they’re designed to do. But they’re targeting [employee behaviour], not targeting the cause of stress. There are two sides of the equation and right now we focus on one side. We’re trying to call attention to the other side, which is the effect of managerial practices,” said the researchers.
The major risk factors include harsh demands at the workplace, long working hours and lack of job control and social support. These are the main causes of stress.
Thus, if companies and authorities do not intervene quickly to reduce these factors, people will continue to get sick and their effectiveness will be affected.
The results of the research were published in the Journal Behavioral Science and Policy.
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