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Is Your Job Killing You?

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We may accuse each other of exaggerating when we say our jobs are killing us, but it might not be that much of an exaggeration. Dozens of studies over the years have linked job stress to increased incidences of disease and death. With this infographic, discover who is most at risk, what causes workplace stress, what the likely consequences are and how both employers and employees can reduce the problem.

Who Is At Greatest Risk for Work-Related Stress Death?

  • Over a 20 year study of 820 adults ages 25-65 at the study’s start, 53 died, and they were disproportionately likely to have reported a “hostile work environment”
  • Middle-aged workers who have poor relationships with their colleagues are 2.4X more likely to die sooner
  • Surprisingly, relationships with bosses had no ties to increased death, even though it is a top cause of leaving a job
  • Women who reported having control/power in the workplace were 70% more likely to die than those who did not feel in control

How Stressed Are We?

  • 40% of workers say their job is excessively stressful
  • 29% say they feel extremely stressed at work
  • 26% say they quite frequently feel burned out at work
  • 1 in 4 workers feel their jobs are the most stressful aspect of their lives
  • 3 in 4 workers believe job stress has increased over the last generation

Most Common Causes of Work Stress

  • Heavy workload
  • Management techniques
  • Restructuring in the workplace
  • Lack of support/relationships with coworkers
    • 86% of surveyed firms reported bad behaviors like insults and poor manners
  • Lack of clarity in job responsibilities
  • Job security/future concerns
  • Environmental issues (lack of space, excessive noise, unclean air, etc.)
  • Abuse, both physical and verbal
    • 20 workers per week are murdered in the US
      • #1 cause of workplace death for women
      • #2 cause of workplace death overall
    • 18,000+ are physically abused
  • Personal/home problems

How Coworkers Cause Stress

  • Manipulation/pressure to obey orders
  • Inappropriate or just different personalities/work styles
  • Conversely, extreme similarity in personality/work style

Stress has been linked to:

  • Heart disease
    • 40% higher incidence for women
    • 25% increased likelihood of heart attack for men
  • Stroke
    • Nearly 50% increased likelihood for men
  • Depression
  • Sleep issues
  • Digestive issues
  • Obesity (prolonged work stress has been found equal to being 40 lbs. overweight)
  • Memory problems
  • Aggravation of skin conditions
  • The quickened progression of HIV/AIDS

Death from Overworking

  • “Karoshi”—the Japanese word for “death from overwork”
  • In Japan, about 10,000 managers, executives and engineers die annually from being overworked
  • 11 workers for China’s Foxconn committed suicide by jumping from high buildings, citing overworking and neglect of spiritual needs
  • Pan Jie, a 25-year-old female auditor in Shanghai, died from viral encephalitis in April 2011, after working for 10 days with a high fever

How Workers Can Reduce Stress

  • Eat well
  • Exercise often
  • Get enough sleep
  • Employ relaxation techniques
  • Communicate with friends
  • Remember to laugh and make jokes
  • Seek counseling when necessary
Stressful Job