Protecting Your Heart From Job Stress

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protecting your heart from job stress

Protecting your heart from job stress explains how stressful jobs and unfair bosses can raise cardiac risks. And if you want to protect your heart, you need to take a look at your job and your boss.

Stress at the workplace often has to do with the structure of the workplace, the politics, and the pressure of targets. As well as a lack of appreciation and motivation, and what the CEO is going to say or not say.

For instance, a study finds that employees who felt they were being treated fairly at work were at reduced risk of coronary heart disease. Also the perceptions of how fair their boss was appeared to be a key factor in how well they felt justice was being served. This shows that justice, equity, and humanity at work may protect against coronary heart disease.

Repetitive Motion Jobs Cause Depression

protecting your heart from job stress

According to a study, early nerve damage caused by repetitive motion on the job can cause fatigue or depression that can be mistaken for poor work performance. The finding was that nerve injury caused by low-force, highly repetitive movement can be blamed. For instance, certain jobs can be blamed for the increased production of proteins known as cytokines. These include jobs such as factory line packers, typists, pianists, and meatpackers, among other professions.

Cytokines show up in injured nerves as early as three weeks after the first signs of cell stress, triggering symptoms of malaise. With many cytokines entering the bloodstream so early, some apparently traveled to the brain, triggering “sick worker” syndrome. Even before you start to experience pain from your wrist injuries, you began to lose the momentum to complete your tasks.

protecting your heart from job stress

By five weeks to eight weeks, when cytokine production reached “peak” levels, you may begin to sleep in between tasks. Likewise, you may call in sick with undefined symptoms, slowing down your work production. Or a low-grade depression may set in. Sadly, your boss may see the cytokine connection as an excuse for you to go off work. Contrarily, this feeling of malaise may be telling your body to take some time off to heal, before things get worse. 

Tips For Protecting Your Heart From Job Stress

protecting your heart from job stress
  • Discuss issues causing stress for you. Meet with your supervisor every 3 or 6 months to talk about your performance and your job. If a performance review is already part of your job, treat it as a chance to clear up issues that may be causing stress for you.
  • Manage your time well. It is important to leave your job at the office, even if your office is a room in your home. If you give up free time to get more work done, you may pay for it with stress-related symptoms. If your employer offers a flexible work schedule, take advantage of it to fit your own work style. For instance, come in earlier to have a longer midday break or to make time for a yoga class or workout.
  • Create boundaries. Leave your work cell phone behind when having it with you is not absolutely necessary. Or decide not to answer it during times you have set aside for yourself or your family. In other words, create boundaries between your time and office work. Avoid checking work e-mail at home.
  • Change jobs. If you continue to be depressed from a stressful job, it may be time to change jobs. However, be certain whether it is you or the job that is the problem. Also don’t quit without researching other options. Because being without a job is likely to cause you anxiety. So decide what is less stressful for you: unemployment or being depressed in your current job.

Bottom Line

Part of protecting your heart from job stress is to feel a sense of justice at work. This happens when you believe that your boss is considering your viewpoint, involving you in decision-making, and treating you fairly.  Since you spend more hours at work, it is very important that you are able to interact better and get a pat on the back from your employer. This is because when you feel appreciated at work, you are going to do a better job and feel better, which is good for your heart.

Workplace Injustice Hurts Your Heart

And lastly for employers, rather than punish your worker or give low rate appraisal if you find your worker slacking off on performance, it is best to watch for a couple of days. And if the symptoms of “sick worker” persist then send your worker to the company clinic.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons

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