Work Stress Just as Bad For Your Health As Secondhand Smoke Exposure

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Sep 11, 2015

If you’re the type to bring the stresses of work home with you then you may be doing more damage to your health than you realize. A new study suggests work stress can be just as bad for your health as the effects of secondhand smoke.

Medical News Today reports about the new study published in the journal Behavioral Science & Policy Association that suggests workplace stressors can put you at greater risk for heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer’s disease. Work stresses like job insecurity or long working hours were a couple of issues scientists found were responsible for higher rates of poor health and medical conditions.

And when researchers compared the risk factors of second hand smoke exposure and work stresses, they were surprisingly similar. Authors of the study point out that measures have been taken across the country to limit the amount of secondhand smoke we are exposed to in the workplace, but nothing has yet been done about job stress. They write, “The health effects of secondhand smoke exposure are widely viewed as sufficiently large to warrant regulatory intervention. For example, secondhand smoke is recognized as a carcinogen, and smoking in enclosed public places, including workspaces, is banned in many states in the United States and in many other countries. The results of our meta-analysis show that workplace stressors generally increased the odds of poor health outcomes to approximately the same extent as exposure to secondhand smoke.”

Ways in which employers can limit job stress is to reduce long hours and be more flexible when it comes to allowing employees to balance work and family better. Authors of the study warn, “Unless and until companies and governments more rigorously measure and intervene to reduce harmful workplace stressors, efforts to improve people's health - and their lives - and reduce health care costs will be limited in their effectiveness.”

What do you think of the new study that suggests work related stress can be just as bad for your health as secondhand smoke exposure?

Do you think more employers should consider ways to limit job stressors?

Make a Comment

ajsterz by ajsterz | Lowell, MI
Sep 30, 2015

I am social worker, and my workplace is very aware of the stresses that I will encounter day to day, and compensate for that with flexibility and paid time off even though this is my first few months with the nonprofit. Stress can be bad for you if you are not taking care of yourself. I think we should also be looking at Second-hand PTSD or transference of other's stresses into our lives as well. I know that I have to make sure to take of myself in order to help my clients in the best way I can. If I take on their stresses, I am going to be useless to help them work through problems.

judith2263 by judith2263 | STerling, IL
Sep 12, 2015

Talking from someone that has a heart condition, asthma, and a stress disorder, I used to use the time that I was traveling back and forth to work to let out the frustration like screaming or cussing when no one could hear me. I would try to get rid of the stress in my life before i could get home and damage my home life with it. I think workplace should try different things to help their employees settle down and relax ,so that their employees could do their best at work and not have to worry about the stress and the problems that come with it. ' "{

tinamyers by tinamyers | YAKIMA, WA
Sep 11, 2015

Yes, I do think more employers should consider ways to limit job stressors. Such as giving their employees rest times or what I like to call nap times. This has proven successful in better work performances. Even not doing over time is what employees need also to not have health issues later on in life and cause their family stress too.