Past research has shown that stress can increase the risk of health problems like heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, and this is confirmed by a new study of stress in the workplace. A team of researchers from Harvard Business School in Boston and Stanford University in California set out to investigate the relationship between workplace-induced stress and health. For the study they analysed over 200 studies that looked at work stressors. It was found that those with high job demands were 50 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with a medical condition than those without this stressor. What’s more, workers with job insecurity had a 50 per cent greater risk of poor physical and mental health, while those with long work hours had a 20 per cent greater risk of mortality. The researchers compared the health effects of these workplace stressors with those of second-hand smoke exposure and, incredibly, found that the outcomes of each were very similar.
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The study that identified 35 as a cut-off year was based on 17th-century church records. More modern evidence is available