Work stress 'damages health as much as secondhand smoke exposure'

Posted on September 9, 2015

Researchers from Harvard Business School in Boston, MA, and Stanford University, CA, publish their findings in the journal Behavioral Science & Policy Association.

Earlier this year, a Spotlight from Medical News Today revealed some of the surprising implications stress can have for health, including increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this year's "Stress in America" survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) found that money is the primary cause of stress in the US. A close second, however, is work, with 60% of Americans reporting this as a main cause of stress.

According to the authors of this latest study - including Joel Goh of Harvard Business School - there has been extensive research into the causes of workplace-induced stress.

"However, policy efforts to tackle the ever-increasing health costs and poor health outcomes in the United States have largely ignored the health effects of psychosocial workplace stressors such as high job demands, economic insecurity, and long work hours," they add.
Policymakers need to address workplace practices that trigger stress

For their study, the team conducted a meta-analysis of 228 studies that looked at the effects of numerous work stressors - such as job insecurity, family-work conflict, high job demands and long work hours - on four health outcomes: the presence of a diagnosed medical condition, self-reported poor physical health, self-reported poor mental health and mortality.

The results of the analysis revealed that workers with high job demands are 50% more likely to be diagnosed with a medical condition than those without this stressor. Job insecurity was linked to a 50% greater risk of poor physical and mental health, while long work hours were associated with a 20% greater mortality risk.

To read the full article, please click on the link below.

Category(s):Caregiver Issues / Stress, Stress Management

Source material from Medical News Today

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