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How Work Is Killing You, Literally

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 2:50 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Stress Ball SqueezeThis past December, Om Malik, a well-known blogger in the technology industry, suffered a heart attack.   The incident was attributed not just to his lifestyle (he regularly smoked cigars and enjoyed far too much caffeine) but to the stress of blogging. The constant need to produce in terms of quality and quantity, and the fear that a breaking news story would be missed had evidently taken its toll on his heart. Several skeptics questioned the legitimacy of this theory – how stressful could blogging truly be and could any job be so stressful that it caused a heart attack – but research that emerged shortly afterwards silenced their doubts, in terms of work-stress and health at least.

A study of more than 10,000 British employees found that a stressful job increased the risk of heart disease by nearly 70 percent.  Those who had the least control, took the fewest breaks, and were the most pressed for time had lower heart rate variability and dangerously high levels of coritsol, a stress hormone that in excess can damage blood vessels. In short, their bodies were being negatively affected by their employment, a fact that was only compounded by their lifestyle. The workers were more likely to eat poorly, smoke and not exercise. The combination of habits and biological changes was more than enough to lead to heart disease. 

If you are chronically stressed, you must find ways to relieve that stress, for it is not only affecting you externally but internally as well. With each hair-pulling, nail-biting impossible deadline, your heart gets weaker and its biological foes stronger. So take deep breaths and relax. Find ways to release the tension, to bring calm into the office. Squeeze the stuffing out of a stress-ball, air your frustrations (May I suggest doing so anonymously on a Web site such as True Office Confessions? It’s much less detrimental than running around the building vocally venting) or take ten minutes to meditate each day. Work is meant to provide you with the means to live not to kill you.

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One Response to “How Work Is Killing You, Literally”

  1. Eric says:

    Susan Coyle you better stop blogging so much to avoid the possibility of a potential heart attack yourself.

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