Job Stress linked to Obesity and Diabetes

What can job and waistline have in common? Here is the answer.

I am wondering how many of you really enjoy your jobs and how many of you despise them. Even if you like your job it can still be rather stressful. Right?

Have you ever thought that your job was making you gain weight?

A study conducted by Dr. Eric J. Brunner (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Royal Free and University College London Medical School ) researched the correlation between job stress and obesity.

Their findings (American Journal of Epidemiology January 22, 2007)indicated that higher job related stress levels were connected to excessive accumulation of fat around the waist which can lead to metabolic syndrome.

The participants in the study were 35 to 55 years old (6895 men and 3413 women) and all had reported job strain levels which included heavy demands, little decision-making power and little social support. The duration of the study was 19 years, which is a pretty impressive period of observation.

The study results showed that both men and women who reported job strain on at least three occasions were 73 percent more likely to become obese and had a 61 percent chance to develop a big belly. Factors that could link to obesity, such as socioeconomic status and tobacco use, was also taken into consideration but had little relevance.

What is amazing about this study is that it provides an evidence that high workload and lack of social support at work act together leading to abdominal obesity (big waistline). More importantly, the study provides the evidence that job and big waistline are linked and that stress is the connection between the two.

The message is clear. If you have a particularly stressfull job and waistline is taking a hit or you hate your job - your heart can suffer.

Job stress can also lead to high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Here are some tips how to deal with job stress To assess your own level of stress and health risk, start by measuring your waistline and take the free Stress Level Test.
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About the writer

Dr. Nelly Stoyanova is a physician, medical researcher and health behavior expert. She studies the effects of stress on heart disease, type 2 diabetes and sleep. Her website: Belly Fat, Stress and Baby Boomers ( evaluates sources of stress for people over 50 and provides great tips to balance your day-to-day stress and stay healthy. Turn your life around and benefit from her expertise. For individual guidance sessions or to schedule a public speaking event use the Contact page or email at


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