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Workplace stress can lead to depression and it can kill you too: Study

Updated on:21 May 2020, 10:46am IST
Our jobs are way too demanding nowadays due to this stress and depression is increasing by miles and bounds. In fact, study says it can also lead to death.
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Try deep breathing exercises to reduce stress at work. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

We are sitting in our home amid this lockdown but there is still no relief when it comes to our office work. In fact, a lot of us have observed that we have been working almost double what we used to. And this is something which is leading to stress.

The jobs were already demanding but the way covid-19 has struck the economy we all are facing a threat of losing our jobs if we underperform. Unfortunately, this is also adding up to our already strained and hectic work life.  

Occupational burnout and exertion have now become a real deal – Even the World Health Organisation agrees.

Well, you won’t be surprised to hear that workplace stress is becoming one of the biggest causes of depression. But what bogs you down in this recent study that says that workplace stress might kill you.

stress
Often feel like you’re in a flight and fight mode? It’s time to check your stress levels. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Let see what this study is
A recent study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, found that our mental health and mortality have a strong correlation with the amount of autonomy we have at our job, our workload and job demands, and our cognitive ability to deal with those demands. 

“When job demands are greater than the control afforded by the job or an individual’s ability to deal with those demands, there is a deterioration of their mental health and, accordingly, an increased likelihood of death,” said study lead author Erik Gonzalez-Mule from Indiana University in the US.

This study was conducted for 20 years with a sample of 3,148 Wisconsin residents who participated in the nationally representative, longitudinal Midlife in the US survey. Sadly, out of these 211 participants died during this study.

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In this study the researchers examined the following parameters and how they affect our mental and physical health:

1. Job control
2. Amount of autonomy employees have at work
3. Their cognitive ability
4. Their ability to learn and solve problems
5. The influence of work stressors such as time pressure or workload

According to researchers all these stressors first lead to depression and ultimately death.

“We found that work stressors are more likely to cause depression and death as a result of jobs in which workers have little control or for people with lower cognitive ability,” Gonzalez-Mule said.

More work control helps in boosting physical and mental health
The good news is that research says that more autonomy in the job resulted in better physical health and a lower likelihood of death when paired with more control of work responsibilities.

Gonzalez-Mule said:

COVID-19 might be causing more mental health issues, so it’s particularly important that work not exacerbate those problems.

“This includes managing and perhaps reducing employee demands, being aware of employees’ cognitive capability to handle demands and providing employees with autonomy are even more important than before the pandemic began,” he concluded.

This is how you can prevent stress at work
There are a lot of techniques that you can use to prevent stress at work, like:

1. Whenever you feel stressed, go for a 5-minute walk.
2. Talk to your colleagues.
3. Take deep breaths to control palpitation and anxiety.
4. Drink water
5. Take a healthy diet to improve your productivity.
6. Maintain a to-do list to prioritise better.
7. Indulge in meditation.

Just follow these simple steps and beat depression left, right, and center.

(With inputs from IANS)

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