Working Overtime Again?… Better Check Your Blood Pressure

September 1, 2006

9084256.jpgStress indeed is the number 1 culprit in terms of its bad effects on ones health.  Stress comes in a variety of ways and can result in myriad of symptoms.

Working long hours has now been shown to be one form of stress that can affect ones health. A balance of time at work and time for relaxation is key to preserving ones health.

A new study published in the September Issue of  Hypertension looked at the relationship between working long hours and high blood pressure. The study invloved 55,000 household members in a 2001 survey done in California.

The study revealed interesting facts:

Working 40 hours a week resulted in a 14% higher risk to develop high BP than working less than 20 hours

Working more than 40 hours increased that risk to 17%

Working more than 50 hours increased the risk to 29%

Clerical workers were 23% and unskilled workers 50% more likely to suffer from high BP than professionals

Challenging and Mentally stimulating jobs however tend to protect subjects from developing hypertension.

The above findings should have practical implications on the way we work. Long hours now counts as one risk factor for hypertension aside from common lifestyle bad behaviours like smoking and improper diet. If hypertension is not corrected, this will lead to strokes and heart attacks which can result in disability. If we can reduce that risk of developing hypertension and subsequently heart disease and stroke thru lifestyle changes including the way we work… the better!

With this in mind… Some Practical Lessons to Learn:

  1. If you are an employer… take care of your business by making sure your workers are healthy… teach them to be efficient so they can avoid working overtime.
  2. If you are a workaholic…think again… remember health is wealth! Working too late may not be productive after all! Take time to relax and instead work overtime in preserving your health.

Remember… What’s the use of earning extra bucks if you’ll spend them all to buy medications to treat your high blood pressure…and later for your heart disease due to uncontrolled stress and BP….

Better Think Twice Before You Work Overtime AGAIN….

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7 Responses to “Working Overtime Again?… Better Check Your Blood Pressure”

  1. wilson ng Says:

    Hi Doc,

    You are right. If you are too hardworking, you will just end up giving your money to your hard working doctor ( grin)…

  2. Belinda Says:

    Our good friends who are both on their late fifties are bakers for nearly 30years & is still working to this day.They start work from 11:00PM till 9:00AM the following day 5 days a week. The husband has high blood pressure already while the wife has a swollen ankle which has not been diagnose yet as to the cause & is suffering from a bad case of menauposal sympstoms. On top of that they are having family problem with their daughter under going a divorce & they are not in talking terms. It seems their situation falls on all the criterias of developing heart disease. What is your opinion Doc? Have a nice day!

  3. Doc Gerry Says:

    definitely… stress is the number killer interms of its contribution to developing heart disease. Stress whether physical ( from work), emotional ( family problem) and other forms like financial can be harmful to the body because of the so called: ” stress hormones” which can caue damage to the body’s system especially the heart.

  4. stephen Says:

    hi gerry!
    just like to add that learning to love your work and looking at work and life positively will certainly do wonders in counteracting stress. people do not mind working long hours if work is meaningful, challenging and interesting.
    i have been enjoying your newsletter; most especially the apple article since i like to eat apples. i am glad that you can find time to write and share your wonderful ideas.
    best regards.

  5. Doc Gerry Says:

    Thanks Stephen for your comment. Agree completely with what you said. In fact in that study …the job that were categorized as challenging and mentally stimulating ( as a result you have more fun than stress doing the job?) did not count as a risk factor to develop hypertension.

  6. Richelle Says:

    can night shift cause hormonal imbalance? I am 32 and is getting married next year. I have seen an endocrinologist 5 years ago and have been diagnosed with hyperinsulinism. I was not able to sustain my appointments and eventually stopped my medication as I trasferred to a call center which is usually on the night shift. Iam suspecting that I may have hormonal imbalance and I want to correct it as I have read that these imbalances can also highly affect the reporductive capabilities.

  7. Doc Gerry Says:

    Stress is indeed the number one cause of infertility becuase of hormonal changes. But as your system adopts to your night environment and as long as you enjoy your work and have time to have fun with your husband when you get home… that should do the trick. The frequency of sex is another important factor to consider with regard to pregnancy… if your work stressed you out and all you do is rest when you get home… then your chances of getting pregnant is definitley low!

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