The research in question involved analysing results from around 13 different European studies, which gave the researchers answers from almost 200,000 individuals who were questioned about whether they had excessive workloads, enough time to fulfil their job roles and how much freedom they were given when it came to making job related decisions.
Interestingly, the researchers found that “job strain” was linked to a 23% higher risk of death by heart attack or coronary heart disease.
The University College London were responsible for carrying out the study and the team of researchers concluded that whilst working in any job role could result in a certain amount of strain, it is ‘lower skilled workers’ who are thought to suffer the most.
Doctors who are required to make a lot of decisions for example, would be less likely to experience strain in their job than an individual working in busy factory line production.
According to Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, feeling stressed at work and having no authority or control allowing you to change the situation, could increase your risk of developing heart disease.
Whilst the negative effect of workplace strain is still less damaging than say, smoking, the study highlights that how individuals react to this form of stress could be extremely important.
“Though stresses at work may be unavoidable, how you deal with these pressures is important, and lighting up a cigarette is bad news for your heart. Eating a balanced diet, taking regular exercise and quitting smoking will more than offset any risk associated with your job.” Said Weissberg.
If you are feeling the strain in the workplace then you may find that offloading your thoughts and feelings to a counsellor could be of benefit. Find out more about how counselling could help you to understand, explore and eventually move on from the source of your stress by visiting our stress fact-sheet.
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