Work Stress May Harm Health as Much as Secondhand Smoke

Researchers from the Harvard Business School and Stanford University released a study suggesting that stress from work can negatively affect health just as much as secondhand smoke. The findings were published in the journal Behavioral Science & Policy Association.

The study consisted of a meta-analysis of 228 studies that analyzed work place stressors, such as job insecurity, long hours and high demand. They looked at these stressors in regards to four health outcomes: mortality, physical health, mental health, and medical conditions.

The results showed people with a high-demand job are 50 percent more likely to be diagnosed with a medical condition compared to those who do not have a high-demand job. Meanwhile, job insecurity was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of poor physical and mental health. Lastly, jobs with long hours led to a 20 percent increase in mortality risk. These stressors were then compared to secondhand smoke and the researchers found the widespread effects of secondhand smoke were similar.

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