07/28/2009 - Questions and Answers

Stress at work

By: Novoviva webmaster



My husband has a lot of stress at work, and I'm worried he may be endangering his health. He's 48, and seems pretty fit, but he's overweight and has a slight blood pressure problem. What should he do?


"Stress at work" can sometimes be a good thing - provided it results in personal achievement and success, and doesn't affect one's family or social life. However, it's quite often a bad thing. A lot seems to depend on the boss.

Blood pressures in employees with more than one supervisor have been shown to be lower on days when a reasonable boss is in charge, but higher on those days when a more severe boss is riding herd on the workers.

A new study from Britain has examined this possibility more fully. Over 6,000 male workers in 20 civil service departments (government offices) were screened for coronary heart disease, and then filled out a questionnaire with questions like "Do you ever get criticized unfairly?" or "How often is you superior willing to listen to your problems?" The men were followed for an average of 8½ years, to see if they developed new coronary events, such as a myocardial infarct (MI) or severe angina.

The employees who reported a fair level of treatment at work had significantly less coronary events than those who felt they were treated unfairly; in fact they had only 65% of the likelihood of having a heart attack or angina. These results were unaffected by such factors as cholesterol level, weight, smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity.

So, you should find out how your husband regards his boss - fair and just, or difficult and unreasonable. If it's the latter, maybe he should apply for a transfer. Don't however, neglect his overweight and blood pressure; these should be addressed by a healthy diet and plenty of physical exercise, so that he has every chance of living a long, happy life.

Related Links

'Justice at Work' Study
Risk Factors and Coronary Heart Disease
WebMD: Stress and Heart Disease

Created on: 01/02/2006
Reviewed on: 07/28/2009

No votes yet
Anonymous wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

@TechTao interesting point of view :-)

TECHTAO wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Cut the poor guy some slack. He's working hard and he under alot of stress at work. The one thing he does not need is nagging and more stress at work. Cook him his favorite meals and don't begrudge him seconds. Let him monitor his own weight. Give him a reason to increase his exercise, get a dog! Heck, the two of you could walk together. Don't nag him about his weight!

I think you should concentrate on laughing more together!