Your job is a vital part of your everyday life, but the stress you encounter because of it could put you at risk for serious health complications.

How Workplace Stress Affects our Bodies

Many people define exactly what constitutes a stressful job differently, but there are some key characteristics that are among the most common signifiers. Namely, the most stressful jobs demand a lot of psychological effort from the employee, and they are typically defined by a lack of control that the employee has over common work situations. Some examples include healthcare workers such as nurses and doctors, or city bus drivers.

When we are exposed to stressful situations it can have various physical and mental effects on us. This is especially true when specific stresses are prolonged and consistent, as is often the case with job-related stress. Workplace stress can decrease our energy levels, cause headaches, and affect our ability to sleep, but it is also connected with a much more serious condition: atrial fibrillation.

The Link Between Stressful Jobs and AFib

A recent study found that individuals with high levels of workplace-related stress were 48% more likely to develop AFib. AFib is one of the most prominent causes of strokes, and the condition can persist without any symptoms.

How to Protect your Heart from Stress

It’s not always easy or even possible for you to leave a stressful work situation. Thankfully, there are some simple ways that you can take care of your heart to potentially mitigate any of the negative effects that these stresses can manifest.

If you work a stressful job, try and find a way to improve your work/life balance. Insist on taking your breaks away from your desk so that you can have some time during the middle of the day to unwind. Also, focus on eating a heart-healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise to ensure your heart is as strong as it can be.

If you or a loved one are living with a heart rhythm disorder such as atrial fibrillation, contact Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A. Dr. Dilip Mathew is Board Certified in Cardiology & Cardiac Electrophysiology and has been serving patients in Sarasota and surrounding cities including Port Charlotte, Venice, Tampa and Sun City Center for over a decade.