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Workplace Stress & Longevity

Overwork Leads to More Disease

Working long hours can increase our income and profit, but it poses a serious risk to our health. People who overwork, what some refer to as “workaholics”, are going to lead America’s workforce to an early grave. Extra work and extra shifts can lead to long-term physical and mental health repercussions.

According to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll, nearly 10.8 % of U.S. full-time workers are diagnosed with depression, after controlling for age, gender, income, education, race, marital status, region, and obesity status.

Stress is prevalent at the workplace, and all that stress is taking a toll on our bodies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Perpetual stress "increases the rate of wear and tear to biological systems," contributing to back and muscle pain, headaches and exhaustion.

In addition to depression , overwork and the resulting stress can lead to all sorts of health problems, including impaired sleep, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, anxiety, immune-system problems and heart disease ( usually from heart attack, sudden cardiac death, heart failure, or arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms). Research has shown that those who spend four or more hours sitting per day have a 125% increase in heart disease risk, and a 50% increased risk of death from any cause.

Among industrial workers, overtime raises the rate of mistakes and safety mishaps.

Several known ways to reduce stress include exercising, eating healthy, not smoking, seeking out quiet time and getting support from friends and family.

Jessica Cardin, an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neurogenetics, Yale University, says "Success often requires integration, rather than segregation, of work and life — more a juggling act than a high-wire balance routine." So multi-tasking of more than two things isn't healthy, taking a lunch break and leaving the premises for your lunch hour is definitely therapeutic. 


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