We’ve all been there. A Bad day, a busy deadline, an inconsiderate colleague – there are about a million different reasons why your workday is so stressful. In fact, workplace stress has become such a serious issue that it is impacting our health and lives in a number of ways.
In a recent Huffington Post article, founder Arianna Huffington raised the issue of workplace ‘burnout’, explaining that stress and over-working is increasingly becoming an issue in Western society. “The CDC estimates that 75 percent of all health care spending is on chronic illnesses like these that can be prevented,” Huffington wrote. “According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, two-thirds of visits to the doctor’s office are for stress-related conditions.”
Studies have shown that high levels of workplace stress can lead to a number of illnesses, including high blood pressure, sexual dysfunction, chronic fatigue and even cancer. According to Very Well, stress is also commonly associated with emotional disorders “such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.”
So if you are suffering from stress, what is the best thing to do? While it may seem logical to start cutting things out of your routine to give you more time to relax and get your mind in the right place, a recent study has found that it is actually better to keep moving if you are under a lot of pressure.
As reported by New York Magazine’s “Science of Us,” the University of Basel in Switzerland and Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden have discovered a clear connection between our levels of stress and exercise. The study that was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found that when people are stressed they tend to skip exercise more frequently.
“Above all, these findings are significant because it is precisely when people are stressed that they tend to engage in physical activity less often,” study co-author Markus Gerber of University of Basel explained.
The study found that those who skipped their workouts put themselves at a higher risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, ultimately compromising their health. While the workers who exercised regularly still reported feeling under immense pressure, overall they were at far less risk of developing stress related illnesses than those who chose to skip their workout.
So the takeaway? It may be hard to get out there and exercise at the end of a long and stressful day, however by exercising regularly you greatly decrease your risk of getting sick and worn out.