Does Your Job Affect Your Heart Health?
When you’re stuck in traffic, have car trouble, or dealing with family issues, do you stew in your emotions or are you as cool as a cucumber?
The human stress response, also known as “fight or flight”, is important for survival. When the stress response kicks in, adrenaline is released, which temporarily speeds up our breathing and heart rate to prepare us for what’s coming. However chronic stress, or stress that persists, can lead to disease, either because of the body’s response to continued stress, or due to coping strategies such as overeating, smoking or drinking. In the long run, these negative coping strategies can increase blood pressure and may damage artery walls.
We’ve all experienced some sort of stress and while everyone may have their own definition, research from The American Institute of Stress shows that job stress consistently ranks as one of the top sources of stress. Job stress can include heavy workload, long hours, lack of job security and co-worker tensions. Knowing that the average American spends 1/3 of their life at work and the impact stress can have on our health‑‑and in particular heart health‑‑it’s important that employees feel safe, supported and cared for in the workplace.
Investing in employee health leads to healthy, happy and productive employees. The best way we can take care of our employees is to provide them with knowledge, resources and programs that can help them achieve their health goals so that they can live their best lives. Because chronic stress and heart health are so closely linked, employers should think carefully about how they are supporting employees with stress management techniques and the resources to learn about their health status.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog where we will examine how a biometric screening can help your employees stay on top of their heart health!