One of the classic studies of emotional factors in aging is called the “Whitehall Study”. Over the years 1967- 1977 it examined the lives of civil service employees in London, UK (Whitehall is the location of the seat of government, Parliament, etc.). It showed that those lower down the pecking order did not live as long, on average, as those in higher management, who were not so controlled and dominated by others.
In my ground-breaking book “How to Live Beyond 100 Years”, I also revealed studies showing that little things, such as being able to arrange your room furniture how you wished, can have a profound effect on longevity! Amazing…
Now a new study from the great Karolinska Institute in Stockholm (Sweden) shows that people who are dissatisfied with their workplace bosses not only take more sick leave, but are at increased risk of suffering a heart attack.
Researchers analyzed data from almost 20,000 employees in Sweden, Finland, Germany, Poland and Italy, working in a range of fields; some of the studies also included a representative selection of Sweden’s entire working population and industries in the Stockholm region.
They found that male residents of the Stockholm area ran a 25% greater risk of suffering myocardial infarction (heart attack) during the ten-year follow-up period if they had expressed displeasure with their managers at the start of the study; the level of risk increased more sharply with time of employment for subjects that reported “poorer” leadership.
Conversely, the researchers determined that Swedish men and women who rated their managers as inspirational, positive and enthusiastic reported less short-term sick leave.
The important point from this study is that the dangerous effect of stressful bosses carried on later in life, long after leaving the workplace.
In this economic climate the recommended (get another job) solution to work stress may not be practical. But at least you can make a point of leaving on-the-job concerns at the workplace; and make the most of your time away from work; and enjoy getting together with family and friends.
And of course get yourself a copy of my book, if you haven’t already done so. It will insure you against stress from many different directions, including movement, hormones, nutrition, brain care and lowering inflammation:
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