Could Your Job Be Killing You?
The NextWomen is happy to be able to provide information on the dangers of a stressful working life through knowledge partner Blossoms Healthcare.
If you have a stressful job it might cause you sleepless nights and headaches due to the pressure. However, according to a recent study your job could also be increasing your risk of conditions such as raised blood pressure. Therefore, it is paramount that you talk to your manager, a medical practitioner, or get yourself a health assessment if you feel that your day-to-day work-load is becoming too stressful.
The study referred to above was run by the University of California, (the “Davis” study) and used information on jobs, health and wages compiled from over 5,600 workers in the USA. The study was led by J. Paul Leigh, who is a professor of Health Economics and who focuses on the role that economics plays in human health.
The information was taken every two years ranging over the years from 1999 to 2005. The participants were employed and between the ages of 25 to 65. The worker’s wages ranged between $2.38 to $77 per hour (in 1999 dollars) and based on their statistical analysis the researchers found that the group which had the highest risk of developing high blood pressure were the young workers and women between the ages of 25 and 44. The study also shows a link between low wages and high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).
Stress is known to be one of the biggest factors that put us at risk for hypertension and many low paying jobs carry with them a lot of stress. They are usually monotonous, unrewarding and offer very little decision making power or recognition. Those who are working in these low paying jobs are also more likely to find themselves struggling to cover their expenses and pay their rent, which can cause even more stress. Also, in many low paying jobs such as mining and factory work, workers also risk being exposed to noxious or toxic, which can also increase their risk of hypertension or lead to other health problems
If your job is causing you a lot of stress, this could be putting you more at risk for hypertension as well as having other negative effects on your health.
The Risks of Hypertension
The condition of hypertension increases the force at which the blood pumps through your veins. If you have hypertension which is not managed, it can put you at higher risk for stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.
Science has not yet completely determined exactly what causes hypertension, although the theory at the moment is that it results as a combination of genetics and lifestyle choices. Factors including smoking, diet and exercise all play a part in your risk level.
If you haven’t had your blood pressure measured in a while, it is a good idea to visit your doctor and get it checked, or undergo a health assessment to have yourself checked in more detail.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Hypertension?
There are many ways that you can adapt your lifestyle to reduce your risk of hypertension. One of the most important steps is to get exercise daily, which will help to make your heart healthier in many ways. Even if it is simply a short walk after work, a little exercise (start with 30 min per day) is better than nothing.
If your job is causing you stress, look for ways either to manage the stress (yoga, meditation and other forms of stress relief) or get yourself out of that job and into one which brings you more enjoyment and less drama.
Moderating your alcohol intake will also help to lower your risk for high blood pressure. Another important tip is to quit smoking. Most of us know that smoking cigarettes presents serious health risks. As well as the risks of cancer, smoking damages your blood vessel walls and hardens your arteries, causing even more problems, which is even more of a reason to quit.
Last but not least, be sure to have yourself checked with a health assessment regularly, rather than waiting until there is a problem. With careful monitoring and good lifestyle choices, you will be able to reduce your risk for high blood pressure. “An ounce of prevention saves a pound of cure” says Dr. Wendy Snell, a senior clinician at private health specialists Blossoms Healthcare.
This article is made possible through Blossoms Healthcare. The NextWomen is not responsible for the views or opportunities expressed in this article.
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