Job Burnout May Be Hard on Your Heart
A lengthy to-do list, a fast-approaching deadline, conflict with a colleague-many people struggle with such on-the-job stressors. When constant and overwhelming, this stress can lead to job burnout. Like other forms of stress, job burnout may affect your health, even raising your risk for coronary heart disease (CHD).
In a study in Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers screened more than 8,800 working adults for job burnout. They then tracked participants' heart health for an average of 3.6 years. Participants included teachers, salespeople, and blue-collar workers. Researchers found that people who suffered from job burnout were 40 percent more likely to develop CHD. Those who reported the highest burnout levels had a 79 percent higher risk.
This conclusion may come as no surprise if you've ever felt the physical symptoms of stress-perhaps a headache, back pain, trouble sleeping, anxiety, or an upset stomach. Too much stress may lower your ability to fight off illnesses such as colds. What's more, research has found chronic stress may elevate your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and-yes-even heart disease.
Job burnout isn't simply feeling stressed while on the job. It's characterized by extreme mental exhaustion, physical fatigue, and cynical thoughts. Signs of job burnout may include:
- Feeling too tired to get out of bed to go to work
- Feeling fed up about your job
- Having difficulty concentrating or focusing on your job
- Not thinking clearly while working
- Lacking sympathy or sensitivity for coworkers or clients
- Distancing yourself from colleagues or customers
Chronic work stress often triggers job burnout. Employees most affected include those who cater to other people's demands. They may feel powerless in their positions and have little control over their schedules. Other causes include feeling overworked and having a job that doesn't match your skills and interests.
Always talk with your health care provider to find out more information.