FOOD & FITNESS / MAR. 27, 2015
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6 Work-Related Stressors That Can Affect Your Health

Three Business professors recently reviewed at least 230 case studies that involved work-related stress, reports The Huffington Post.

A study stemmed from research obtained by professors located at both the Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business determined that workplace stressors are more detrimental than some of the most common sicknesses.

Surprisingly, a widespread disease like diabetes has nothing on the effects workplace stress causes people. Findings show that stress-on-the-job accounts for 120,000 deaths in America each year, which outnumbers the amount of deaths caused by diabetes.

By using an "odds ratio" technique, researchers were able to measure "how much more likely someone is to experience negative health consequences that could lead to death after being exposed to the stressors versus not being exposed to them."

So, what stressors should you constantly look out for?

See also: How to Fight Stress in 10 Easy Steps

1. Exposure to Second Hand Smoke

One of the least severe of the six is second hand smoke. For years, health experts have claimed that second hand smoke causes more respiratory issues that it does for smokers. If this is the case, then obviously it may affect your health and how well you perform on the job.

2. Work-Family Issues

Any outside stress will inevitably have an effect on your job. However, this could be the other way around for some of you. Workplace complications could be rolling over into your home. This causes a tug-of-war for you and how you go about separating the two. Researchers have found that work-family conflict is one of the leading causes of alcohol usage.

3. Overtime Hours

Working overtime places major stress on the body. When you consistently take on more hours than your position requires, you may forget to show your health any attention. This stressor typically leads to its most common health issue ... hypertension.

4. No Health Coverage

Being uninsured is a financial and health stress. Not having health insurance places more strain on your wallet, which makes some people have to pay out of pocket. At times, the uninsured will avoid seeking care altogether. A lack of health insurance can increase health issues that need to be tended to.

5. Unemployment/Loss of Income

Having a job and a steady income make most people feel content, comfortable, and established. You’re able to function properly in society. When you’re unemployed or broke, your life tends to feel incomplete. You start to feel disconnected from the working world, especially your former coworkers. You struggle with paying living expenses or affording the simplest activities that make you happy. This can put a strain on your psyche and your health overall. The study found that unemployment doubles the probability of experiencing depression.

6. A Lack of Job Control

This stressor can lead to cardiovascular disease or other heart issues. When you have no control over decision-making in the workplace, this can make you feel like you are worthless as an employee. A lot of this has to do with positional ranks, and usually the lower ranks feel the least amount of power. The less job control you have, the more work responsibility you may have to endure. This could make your job a little more stressful than you would like it to be.

Some employers may be to blame for workplace stressors like requiring overtime hours or failing to provide insurance to their workers.

Stanford Graduate of School Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, one of the three leading researchers in the study, claims that most employers are more worried about workforce expenses than their employees’ health.

See Also: Workplace Stress Makes us Smoke, Eat and Get Fat

This has contributed to the rise in the number of mental and physical health issues reported yearly.


Stanford Business Website

"It’s all about costs now," Stanford Business Website Pfeffer. "Can we afford this, can we afford that? Does it lead to better or worse financial performance for the company? We’re talking about human beings and the quality of their lives. To me, that ought to get some attention."

He has urged employers to place more emphasis on their employees’ health rather than the job itself.

Most people who experience any type of stressor have the risk of acquiring poor health, which could even result to death.

In a nutshell, it’s up to the employer and employees to immediately identify some of these problems in order to resolve them beforehand. Be alert at all times of the culprits that are triggering stress in your work life.

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