Do you feel lethargic and stressed at your workplace? According to a recent report published by the US Health Department, job stress plays a vital role in increasing the possibilities of a heart stroke. It is frequently observed that cardiovascular health of a person with long working hours is at exacerbating risks of developing high cholesterol or blood pressure levels. Besides, their demanding jobs leave little time to exercise regularly and follow a healthy lifestyle.

So, how is occupation stress bad for your healthy heart?

Office Stress Can Be A Real Health Ticker

Analysts in the South Korea have revealed that increasing the numbers of working hours in a week is directly correlated to increasing risks of developing a cardiovascular disease. This is further corroborated by a study done by a group of researchers stating that employees working for 70 hours per week endure 42% more chances of advancing coronary heart disease risks compared to those working 40 hours per week. While those working 80 hours/week stand 63% increased possibilities of developing these problems.

This clearly reflects that jobs usually become stressful in those situations when employees feel that they are no or little control of themselves. The above studies further concur that highly demanding jobs with minimal decisions power in daily tasks make a worker more stressful as they seldom enjoy their work.

Furthermore, how stressful is a work task is also contingent to the personality of an individual and the attitude of his/her co-workers. People with aggressive personalities are known to face greater job stress and consequently higher risks of developing cardiovascular disease symptoms. Similar, the nature of job requiring impulsive intense bursts can also place stress on the workers, for instance, firefighters.

How It Happens?

Office stress can directly distress a person’s heart arteries by instigating mild vasoconstriction. This, in turn, can lead to high blood pressure, due to which the blood platelets become stickier. Such changes are seen to increase the risk of a heart stroke.

In addition, long working hours can further lead to poor sleep, minimal or no time for physical exercise, a rising tendency to smoke and take alcohol or drugs in order to cope with the rising stress. Researchers have also indicated that people working in shifts at odd hours are also prone to sleep deprivation, which may lead to weight gain, increased levels of cortisol, and high blood pressure –raising the possibility of heart disease.

How To Control Work Stress?

While it is difficult to reduce job stress in a highly competitive work environment, there are certain ways to mitigate this stress, including:

Healthy Diet: Following a balanced and healthy diet can keep factors leading to cardiovascular risk under control.

Regular Exercise: It is always advisable to take short breaks in between your work to walk around and relax. In addition, a regular exercise (20 minutes to 30 minutes) regimen helps to take your mind off work and relax your body.

Hobbies: Pursuing your hobbies can be beneficial in helping to relax your mind and improve overall health.

To Sum Up: There are situations when we cannot take control of the work stress but we can certainly train ourselves to regulate this stress taking a toll on our body and heart health. A healthy diet and regular exercise routine are extremely useful in slowing down the stress levels and hence keeping most risk factors causing cardiovascular diseases under check.