creating sustainable results in growth and performance
Just since 2004 more and more
evidence has emerged that stress kills. Here is just some of what just a few of the
latest studies are
discovered that working through illness doubles risk of heart disease. People
who drag themselves into work despite feeling ill are doubling the likelihood of
developing heart disease, a 10-year study of 10,000 Britons has revealed.
suffering from an illness as minor as a common cold can put unnecessary strain
on a worker's heart that can accelerate coronary heart disease, according to the
findings of this study into occupational health. The disclosure has (of course)
provoked debate among employers' organizations over whether staff should be
encouraged to take time off work when they feel unwell. But Prof Sir Michael
Marmot, the head of the study at University College London, said that
“presenteeism” leads to an increase in coronary heart disease.
“Among 30 to
40 per cent of the population, we have found that those who were unwell but took
no absence at all from work had double the incidence of coronary heart disease
over the following years, he said. Sir Michael, one of the world's leading
epidemiologists added: "So many people force themselves into work when they are
not well and have little knowledge of the consequences. Far from contributing to
their companies or spreading a few germs around the office, they could be
hastening their own deaths."
Whitehall study, a UK Government funded survey of Britain's occupational
health, examined the fitness and attendance of 10,308 civil servants across
Greater London over 10 years. Scientists from University College compared
attendance rates with the health records of civil servants. The results showed
that 40 per cent of those who did not take time off when they had fallen ill –
even with ailments as minor as a cold - had double the incidence of coronary
disease over the next few years.
said that this effect held true regardless of how much someone smokes or drinks.
"The data seems to show that the stress prompted by going to work when ill is an
independent factor when calculating the risk to an employee's health through
coronary heart disease," he said. Occupational health specialists said last week
that the findings raised challenging questions for doctors and employers. Dr
Paul Grime, a consultant in occupational medicine at the Royal Free Hospital,
north London, said: "The findings do seem to further the argument that there a
link between the stress suffered by those who force themselves to go to work and
coronary heart disease."
Refusing to take time off,
even for flu or colds, can serious damage your health.
There's more: Rushing to meet a deadline
at work increases the risk of having a heart attack the next day by sixfold.
Short bursts of working under pressure can be more dangerous than a slow steady
build-up of problems, new research shows.
There are 270,000 known
heart attacks each year in Britain alone, 150,000 of them
fatal. Eight per cent of workers aged over 45 suffered their first heart attack
the day after a stressful incident at work, the study showed. Being put in a
competitive situation doubles the risk of a heart attack within 24 hours. Any
conflict in the office during the past 12 months also adds to the danger.
Money worries or taking on
more responsibility at work increased the risk sixfold among men and threefold
among women, the Swedish researchers found. Ambitious executives in their 20s
can also store up problems by taking on a heavier workload. UK stress expert
Prof Cary Cooper said: `Although they won't face immediate health issues, the
stresses of life and-work will build up, leading to heart problems and other
stress-related illnesses in later life. 'No job is worth this amount of stress,
certainly not worth risking your health and even your life for.'
In a separate study by
consultants Right Corecare, more than half of 300 companies admitted their
managers did not have the skills to deal with stress. They were aware that many
staff were even unwilling to talk about the problem, often for fear it would
harm their careers.
Deadlines and other stressful experiences can serious
damage your health.