The pressure you experience at work can have a negative impact on your health. This is something that is widely known; we’re aware a stressful work environment can cause physical and mental health issues at home. However, a new study has revealed women, in particular, are prone to gain weight as a result of stress at work.
Work Pressure Study
The study was performed at Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. It included 3,872 participants; both men and women. Participants were investigated on three different occasions over a 20-year period. Their ages ranged from 30-50 or 40-60.
Participants were asked about their workplaces:
- How much time they had to perform their work duties
- How often they were given contradictory demands
- What they felt the psychological pressure was
These questions helped identify the level of job demands. Additionally, questions were asked about:
- How often participants learned something new at work
- Whether their job required imagination or advanced skills
- Whether they were able to choose what to do and how to do it as part of their job
The men and women that had little control in their work tended to gain more weight over the course of the study. However, long-term exposure to high job demands affected women much more than men.
Major weight gain occurred over the course of 20 years for over 50% of the women who were subjected to high work demands. The gain in weight was roughly 20 percent higher than women who were subject to lower job demands.
Researchers believe the reason women were affected long-term was possibly due to the combination of their job demands as well as the greater responsibility that most women have at home as well. Those factors often make it difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight because they may not have the time to exercise regularly.