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Working Your Way Up Wears You Down

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 9:23 am | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
OfficeYou have to work. Without a job, you couldn’t afford to pay the bills, buy food, clothe yourself or live healthily. So, you stumble out of bed every morning. You sacrifice time with your family, time with your friends, time with your bed, to work. Hopefully, you enjoy it. Possibly, you don’t. Either way, you rationalize that the hours in the office, the hair-pulling moments and the daily frustrations are worth it, because in the end, your life will be better. You and your loved ones will have more opportunities and more benefits. But, what you don’t realize is that you may also have more health problems.

Work stress has been linked to numerous ailments. Its connection to high blood pressure and heart disease is well known, but now, researchers are finding that it may do more than affect your cardiovascular system. In a study of 24,000 Canadian workers, five percent were found to have suffered from major depression in the past year. Men and women who reported high job-strain, meaning they had a demanding job with limited co-worker support and little decision-making authority, had a greater risk of suffering from depression. For men, the likelihood increased when their autonomy was taken away. And for women, well, it’s not just depression they have to worry about. Women in high-stress work environments have a 40 percent greater chance of developing breast cancer. This could be due to poor diet, limited exercise or an increased amount of estrogen as a result of stress.  The link is unclear, but it’s definitely there.

So now that you know, what should you do? Quit your job?

Sorry. No. I’m not about to give you any more motivation to cut off the steady paycheck. Not working is going to lead to some stressful situations, as well. Instead, locate the sources of stress and find ways to cope with it. We’ve already talked about how you can combat stress in general. You can easily apply some of those techniques to work. Also, try to make sure you have time away from the job and not just physically. Remove yourself mentally. Take a real break. Nothing is worth working yourself into an early grave.

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