Study Finds That Work Stress Is Just As Harmful As Secondhand Smoke

Study Finds That Work Stress Is Just As Harmful As Secondhand Smoke
When you don’t know how to trust Trevor Butcher / Flickr CC BY 2.0

The next time you show up for work, you might want to consider cutting back on the stress. A recent study conducted by a group of researchers from Harvard Business School and Stanford University finds that getting stressed in the office is actually as detrimental to your health as being the unwilling victim of secondhand smoke.

Yes, all signs are indicating that sitting behind the desk for eight hours or even more can mean the decline of one’s overall well-being, especially in the long run. In fact, stretching your work hours and having less and less time for exercise may lead to serious health consequences. This finding is actually the result of a summary of 228 studies, which looked into the effects ten workplace stressors on four health outcomes. This workplace stressors may include long work hours, job insecurity, lack of health insurance, work-family conflict, lack of job control, high job demands, low social support in the office, low organization justice and unemployment, as stated in another research paper.


According to the summarized study, it was found that having high job demands can actually increase the odds of being diagnosed by a physician with an illness by 35%. Even worse, long work hours can also increase mortality by almost 20%. Meanwhile, having job insecurity is also bad for anyone as it increases the odds of experiencing poor health by 50%.

Related: Study Finds Link Between Energy Drinks And Brain Injury

In an interview with Today, Mindful Living Network and the Stress Institute founder and Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Hall revealed that as much as 90% of visits to primary care physicians are related to stress. Moreover, more than 60% of Americans believe that they get a lot of stress from their workplace. This is rather alarming especially when it has been found that stress actually may increase one’s risk for diseases such as heart disease, obesity, hypertension, depression and insomnia. It also goes without saying that because of this, stress can definitely be fatal.

Indeed, it’s no longer enough to just watch what you eat. You have to watch your stress levels, too.

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