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Exploring Life Attachments Part 2: How Your Job Affects Your Health

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Like many adults, you may think of your job as a lifeline that provides more than an income. For some, it also supplies a sense of purpose, belonging, accomplishment and friendship. Others associate their jobs with oppression, stress and dissatisfaction. Besides affecting your mood, various work factors impact your health positively or negatively. Learn to reduce destructive effects and encourage beneficial results to enhance your wellness. Safeguard your health and happiness by making time for other life attachments including social connections, technology, hobbies and pets while following diet, exercise and medication routines. Conserve your hard-earned wages by ordering your discount prescriptions online from a Canada pharmacy.

Work Can Improve Your Health and Well-Being

Your job can provide important social, psychological and physical health advantages, improving your quality of life and enhancing your well-being. According to a study, a positive work environment may promote physical health and reduce sickness if it’s safe, provides a sense of self-worth and offers some control over your work. A study showed job quality correlates closely to mental health. Job stability, fair pay, benefits and being in control can increase your overall job satisfaction, resulting in a positive impact on your mental health and decreased problems like depression and anxiety. Positive relationships with co-workers and superiors increase social satisfaction and decrease feelings of social isolation, which also benefit your overall wellbeing.

Job-Related Health Consequences

Over a lifetime, the average person spends 90,000 hours working. Can this much labor, especially if it’s sedentary, expose your body to more stress than it can handle? Research suggests the more you work, the worse your body fares. Negative work environments and unemployment can be even more detrimental to your health. Commuting. Getting to work can take a toll on your health. A study revealed people who travel to jobs by car or public transportation have more adverse health effects than workers who ride bikes or walk. Motorized vehicle commuters suffer more everyday stress, worse sleep quality and exhaustion. They perceive their health to be negative more often, which increases work absences. Sitting. Desk jobs seem safe compared to manual labor. But Mayo Clinic researchers discovered metabolism swings drastically during the inactivity of sitting. Other research showed people who sit for at least 11 hours a day were 40 percent more likely to die within three years, despite exercising. Even if you sit just eight hours a day, your risk of death is 15 percent higher than someone who sits half that time. Pains and strains. Whether you work at a desk or perform physical labor, you may develop musculoskeletal problems like back pain and strain injuries. Mental health. Studies found too much responsibility, poor relationships with superiors and chronic job instability impacted mental health negatively. Too much job-related stress can cause anxiety, depression, drug abuse, alcoholism, gambling and deteriorating personal relationships. Overtime. Scientists found a link between increased working hours and unhealthy behavior. Long shifts can lead to greater cigarette and alcohol use, less exercise and fewer medical check-ups, according to University of Illinois researchers. A study showed employees who worked at least 10 hours a day had a 60-percent higher risk of developing heart-related problems such as nonfatal heart attacks and death from heart disease. Odd hours. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 15 million Americans work evening or overnight shifts. Harvard Medical School job1scientists found disrupting study participants’ natural sleep cycles put them at greater risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Job burnout. Lack of control, unclear expectations, activity extremes, mismatched values, unsuitable job fit, staying in a position you hate, lack of social support and work-life imbalance can cause physical, emotional or mental frustration and exhaustion. Job burnout stress can trigger headaches, backaches, anxiety, insomnia, appetite changes, alcohol or substance abuse and strained personal relationships. Health complications include depression, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke. Consult a medical or mental health provider to rule out underlying conditions. Unemployment. Losing your paycheck is worse than your job making you sick. A study showed people who were unemployed for over 25 weeks were more likely to experience mental health symptoms. The longer you’re jobless, the more your depression risk increases. Research also linked unemployment to obesity and heart disease. An analysis of 20 million displaced workers showed their risk for mortality jumped 63 percent. Early retirement. Many people yearn for retirement to relax, pursue hobbies and travel. But a study cautions men against ending their careers early. Research showed men are more likely to adopt negative habits than women. Smoking, drinking, unhealthy diets and infrequent exercise increase their risk of dying before age 67.

How to Minimize Health Risks

Prevent an overly demanding or unrewarding job from compromising your health. Focus on the positive benefits and minimize the hazards. Try to maintain reasonable hours and take breaks to limit sitting time. Inquire about standing desks, flextime or telecommuting. Manage work-related stress through meditation, yoga or emotional support. If you need to change positions, employers or careers, match your interests and skills to available options. During unemployment and retirement, maintain a positive attitude and pursue some rewarding and health-enhancing physical activity. Take a break from career challenges by focusing your free time on your other important life attachments.

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