Wednesday 30 August 2017

Why Your Job May Be Secretly Sabotaging Your Health!

As you sprint up the career ladder to success, you may find that your weight often goes up right along with it. But it’s not just a matter of too many doughnuts at those 9 a.m. meetings or a missed workout or two. On-the-job stress may be the simmering underneath that's secretly driving up those numbers on the scale.

“Workplace stress is one of the most common types of stress. After all, you spend most of your waking hours at your day job,” says Elissa Epel, PhD, a leading researcher on stress, aging and weight, and co-author of The Telomere Effect: The New Science of Living Younger. Several studies find that on-the-job strife is associated with risk of obesity and a widening waistline. A 2015 study in the International Journal of Obesity (London) added a new twist: Women who started out heavier were more prone to gaining weight under job duress.

Though research is inconsistent, one large meta-analysis on 160,000 adults found a “U”-shaped pattern. People under the highest strain at work were more likely to be obese — or underweight. And while work stress doesn’t have official status as an “obesogen” (a environmental factor that drives up weight overtime). Epel notes that work stress can make such an impact on your health, it can be considered to have an obesogenic effect.

Yikes. So we wanted to know: Do you really need to choose between your ambitions and your health? And, in order to reach your happy weight, does stress matter even more than diet and exercise?

Unless you work in a field where you’re up and moving all the time (say, you’re a personal trainer), research shows you spend about 10 hours on weekdays being sedentary. For women, clocking longer hours (49-plus per week) was associated with greater weight gain, in part because there’s little time left for self-care, like going to your favorite Spin class or meal prepping.

Then there are the late nights/answering emails/putting out fires that leave you sacrificing precious shut-eye, adding a piece to the stress-weight puzzle. “Nighttime is when stress has the most toxic effects because it prevents your body from recovering,” says Epel. If blood pressure and stress levels don't return to normal when you try to decompress — something super difficult when you can’t unplug anyway — you’ll make poorer dinner choices (hey, take-out) and lose sleep, something that can whack out your hunger hormones the next day and boost cravings for unhealthy stuff. via NBC News

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