We already knew that high stress jobs trigger psychological strain. Now research suggests the damage may runner deeper than that.
Job stress is an accepted reality which is mostly shrugged off as “all part of the game” or something we must encounter as we attempt to reach lofty heights in our respective careers. However, did we ever stop to think, at what cost?
Or whether it’s good enough reason to be driven to an early grave?
You heard me, folks. Your job could be doing just that. Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal correlates how job stress, paired with an unhealthy lifestyle can significantly increase coronary artery disease.
To fully understand the result of stress on the development of heart disease, the researchers referred to 7 large-scale European cohort studies which analyzed more than 102,000 healthy workers with ages ranging from 17 to 70 over a 15-year period
Of the total participants, more than 15,000 (16%) reported job stress, which was determined from specific job-related questions in the studies. The researchers defined three lifestyle risks based on smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical activity.
· “Healthy Lifestyle” - no lifestyle risk factors
· "Moderately unhealthy lifestyle" - one risk factor
· "Unhealthy lifestyle" - between two and four lifestyle risk factors.
What This Translates to:
What this means is that, it’s not so much the stress as job that’s the problem so much as it’s the habits research suggest that accompanies it, like smoking and physical inactivity.
Dr. Mika Kivimäki at Department of Epidemiology and Public Health explains that the risk of coronary artery disease was highest in participants who reported job stress which triggered an unhealthy lifestyle. This comes as a sharp contrast to individuals with less job strain and a healthy lifestyle and hence “half the rate of this disease."
It’s safe to conclude that just a healthy lifestyle could significantly decrease the threat of coronary artery – even in individuals with high job stress.
This should service as a serious wake up call to individuals who do not already follow a healthy lifestyle.