Can Fitness Decrease Work Stress?

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Studies show that forty percent of people who work find their jobs very stressful. Twenty-six percent report that they are often burned out or stressed by their work, and 29% feel quite a bit or extremely stressed at work. Changing job or career field may not always be a possibility; however, some recent studies suggests exercising can help people protect themselves against the potentially harmful effects of work-related stress.

Studies have linked cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and self-perceived stress to cardiometabolic risk factors and increased risk for developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

The researchers analyzed several key factors which included blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, glycated hemoglobin and cardiometabolic risk scores in 197 men and women around 39 years of age. Each of the study participants underwent CRF tests and provided information on perceived stress levels.

In general, people with higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels tended to have lower blood pressure, BMI, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides and cardiometabolic risk scores than the less active participants. These scores stayed true among people reporting high work-related stress levels. Researchers believe this information can be helpful for all workers and especially those with stressful jobs.

The findings show that people with better cardiorespiratory fitness may have some protection against the health hazards of high chronic stress by lessening the stress-related increase in cardiovascular risk factors. Working out is key to mitigating these cardiovascular risks.

 

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