Job's Effect on Health

Apr 26, 2017

"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called everybody, and they meet at the bar."

Comedian Drew Carey’s gallows’ humor aside, we spend half our waking hours at work and our jobs can affect our health. Whether we are unhappy because of the workplace environment or we experience actual physical dangers at work, we might bring home mental and physical effects in addition to our paycheck.

The American Psychological Association states that constant preoccupation with job responsibilities often leads to erratic eating habits and not enough exercise, resulting in weight problems, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. Common job stressors, such as perceived low rewards, a hostile work environment and long hours can also accelerate the onset of heart disease.

Sometimes there are simple fixes, such as brightening up your office with a floor lamp, or making it more personal with photographs of friends, family and pets. You can reduce stress by making the most of work day breaks.

But issues such as job insecurity, workplace bullying and coming into skin contact with dangerous chemicals are less easy to solve. You may have to consider going back to school or look for a new position. You could also talk to your boss, bring an issue to a human resources representative or contact OSHA---the occupational health and safety administration.