BBC Health news reports today that work stress changes your body. A study in the European Heart Journal looked at over 10,000 British civil servants between 35 and 55 over a 12-year period and found that there were biochemical changes going on in those stressed at work which raised their risk of coronary heart disease by almost 70%.
The link between stress and heart disease appears to have to do with the mechanisms which regulate the action of the heart – being in a stressed state reduces the efficiency of these mechanisms because it disturbs the functioning of the nerves and hormones involved.
As well as the biological factors, there are lifestyle factors involved. “Greater reports of work stress were associated with poorer health behaviours in terms of eating less fruit and vegetables and less physical activity. In addition, work stress was associated with not drinking any alcohol (which increased the risk of CHD, Table A2).” Smoking and consuming fatty foods have also previously been linked to work stress, the study notes.
June Davison from the British Heart Foundation said:
“There are many ways that we can help ourselves by learning how to cope with stressful situations.
“Keeping fit and active also helps to relieve stress and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Right here are a couple of simple ways to manage stress. They’re so simple that I print them on either side of a bookmark and give them to all my clients.
And I haven’t forgotten about creating that CD of scripts to help you into a healthy lifestyle. Watch this space.
EDIT: It’s done, and you can get a free sample track from my podcast.
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