Does Job Related Stress Impact Your Health?

Does Work Stress Impact Your Health?

Most People have a vision of their “dream” job that reflects their gifts and unique talents.  Is Yours?  If your job is not meeting those requirements, it could be a factor for job related stress.  You might want to take some time to examine this concept.

We spend much of our time performing our jobs.  So, if your job and work relationships create dissatisfaction it is affecting your health more than you realize.  Research suggests that is your work is creating a stressful environment for you, your health may suffer.

Does Work Stress Impact Your Health
Does Work Stress Impact Your Health

If your job is bringing you stress, that you might want to figure out why.  Is it the people?  Is it a co-worker’s lack of competence affecting you?  Is there too little freedom at your job?  Is your workplace disorganized?

Your Job Can Be Hazardous to Your Waistline

Increased stress and anxiety can lead to chronic health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, inflammation, and diabetes. In addition to an increasing of risk for various health issues, research suggests that your job may also affect your weight.

For example, a study published in 2010 showed chronic stress on the job may be linked to a higher Body Mass Index.  In addition, women who work more than 49 hours per week reported the greatest weight gain.

In Addition to Your Job are There Other Factors

While it might be nice to blame your boss for the numbers on your scale, it is likely that stress is the enemy.  If you experience long hours, strained relationships and a hard to please boss.  Or if it is long hours and other pressures at work, if can affect in numerous ways.

First, many of us are prone to gravitate to emotional eating.  While this may cause weight gain, we may also experience stress-induced hormonal changes.  For instance, here is another study of women found that increased stress was linked to lower metabolism and less fat burning.

Finally, if you are working long hours you will have less time to spend on self-care and weight management.  While, we have discussed all the negative impacts of stress and your job we should also look at some ways to get stress in control.  Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Do What You Can to Manage Your Stressors

Start thinking of the long term.  Sometimes we must temporarily take on even more stress before we can reduce our stress.  If you feel you don’t have many options, you probably need to re-evaluate your situation.

While you may not be able to manage all of your work stress conditions, you can empower yourself by managing the ones you do have control over.  Work with your boss to find ways to improve your productivity.  Learn some constructive ways to deal with your co-workers.  By decreasing stressors at work you’ll be taking a stand to improve your health.

  1. Do More for Your Self Care

Taking time for yourself is not all about luxury, it’s a necessity for maintaining your health and sanity.  Even if you love your job, the truth is you are not as productive or effective if you are anxious and tired.  So, develop new habits to get enough sleep and exercise in a few times a week.

  1. Meal Prep

If you don’t want to get caught in the excuse of deciding what to eat when your defenses are down, make an effort to do some meal planning.  And while you are at it, stock your desk with healthy alternative snacks, so you are not heading for the vending machine with the mood strikes.  The easier you make it for yourself to develop healthier behaviors, the greater the odds will be of engaging in habits for long term health benefits.

HEALTH IS A CHOICE-LEARN HOW TO USE IT!

Shirley Noah

Watch for my new book-Understanding the Stress Connection: Break the Power of Chronic Stress with Healthy Eating and Healthy Habits