Stress at Work Could Be Killing You

Stress management tips for the workplace.

  from Reader's Digest | January 2008

When your workload gets grueling, take time to de-stress: Your heart depends on it.

People who’ve suffered a heart attack and return to super-stressful jobs are at serious risk for a second one. Canadian researchers tracked 972 people for six years after their first attack. When workers returned to a high-stress job, their risk of having another attack doubled after two years compared with less-stressed workers.

Having a plan in place to deal with tension is important for all of us, says Randal Thomas, MD, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic: “Exercise is the greatest stress reducer we have.” It’s also the best way to prevent stress in the first place. Do jumping jacks, take a walk or try an under-the-desk pedal exerciser. If you’ve had an attack, think seriously about entering a cardiac rehab program, says Dr. Thomas. It can help you learn to cope and cut your risk of dying from a repeat attack by up to 30 percent.

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