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How Work Stress Affects Your Body

Member Insights by Ability Chiropractic

Did you know that we will spend over 90,0000 consecutive hours at work in our lifetime? That’s about 12 straight years of working. Overall, we’ll spend about 1/3rd of our lifetime at work to obtain an income, to support families, to fulfill professional goals, to build networks and to serve communities but with that percentage comes high Stress situations. Too many of us strain to meet strict deadlines, overwork ourselves on projects, feel unfairly treated by coworkers and superiors, repeatedly accept bigger word loads than we can handle or barely stay afloat in hostile work environments.

Stress is a natural and physical reaction to everyday situations and some stress is good for the Body. Stress hormones trigger our ‘fight or flight’ responses and are designed to protect our bodies in emergency situations; however, if repeated stressful situations trigger these hormones, day after day, we put ourselves at serious health risks. Not only will prolonged job-related stress take an emotional toll but will drastically affect physical health including increased risk for heart disease, heart attacks, body aches and high blood pressure.

Poor eating and exercise habits

Stress triggers a release of cortisol hormones in the body. Increased levels of cortisol increases the cravings for fatty and sugary foods and increases fat cells which both may lead to weight gain. Additionally, stressful work environments may discourage habitual exercise regimens. Many may feel too fatigued or worn down after a stressful day at work to keep up with their exercise routines.

Pro tip: keep healthy snacks on hand to grab when your stress-related cravings kick in.

Weakened immune system

While stress stimulates the immune system, too much stress overtime will weaken the immune system and reduce the body’s natural ability to fight off foreign invaders. A weakened immune system makes you more susceptible to illness such as the flu or the common cold as well as your ability to recover. If you’re already stressed at work, imagine your stress levels after taking sick days to recoup and the time to catch up at work.

Body aches

To protect your body during stressful situations your muscles tense up and release once you relax. If constantly undergoing stressful situations, your body doesn’t have a chance to relax and your muscles stay tense. Tight muscles will cause headaches, back and shoulder pain and body aches. This can cause long term muscle issues that can only be corrected by a professional.


Stress overload at work will eventually lead to burnout, emotional exhaustion. Burnout takes an emotional toll not only on us personally but may affect our friendships, relationships and livelihood outside of the work place. Depression seeps in and negative attitudes towards yourself and the others around you will strain personal relationships and discourage you from participating in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed doing.

Increased blood pressure and heart disease

Of all effects stress has on our body, its toll on blood pressure and the heart may be of the most worrisome. Prolonged stress increases blood pressure, elevates cholesterol levels and accelerates the risk for heart disease and one’s exposure to heart attacks.

While work is essential to our survival it’s imperative to closely monitor stress levels to gauge the body’s overall health so that we can keep it in working order.

Read How Work Stress Affects Your Body on Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

This post first appeared on Columbus Chamber Of Commerce | Columbus Small Busi, please read the originial post: here

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How Work Stress Affects Your Body


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