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Work Stress Causes Increased Weight

Posted Mar 31 2010 12:00am

We all know stress is dangerous. A new study shows a stressful job leads to increased weight. In a practical study in a company that recently downsized, employees were followed to determine their stress situation and their habits. In all, 2,782 employees, mostly white, middle-aged men with college educations were studied. These employees had all kept their jobs through rounds of layoffs. It was found that workers with higher job stress were heavier than employees with less stressful positions. The chronically stressed employees had a higher body mass index (BMI) than that of their relaxed co-workers. The findings are important in a time of widespread lay-offs. In the study, workers left behind at the downsized company often complained of more stress and more responsibilities. Work stress has long been associated with cardiovascular disease, obesity, depression, premature aging, alzheimer’s among other chronic health conditions. It was found that stressed workers also watch more television to de-stress and those who watched TV for two to three hours a day had BMIs that were higher than people who watched TV for fewer than two hours. That’s the equivalent of just over 16 pounds for the average 5-foot, 10-inch man, or just over 14 pounds for an average 5-foot, 4-inch woman. If you feel you are stressed at work, find a way to reduce or manage the stress via exercise, meditation or by finding a new job. Your health is too important to be stressed all the time.

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