Is Your Job Killing You? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

job stress

The statistics are frightening.

According to a study and infographic by BambooHR, working 11 hours a day versus eight hours creates a 67 percent increased risk of developing heart disease, working 50+ hours a week triples the chances of developing an alcohol abuse problem and 44 percent of workers have gained weight as a result of their job.

This data supports the fact that your job may be killing you without you even realizing it!

Keep reading for five ways to know if your job is, in fact, killing you and what you can do to prevent that from happening.

1- You Can’t Stay Awake or Can’t Fall Asleep

If you can’t stay awake during the day without multiple cups of caffeine or you can’t fall asleep due to work deadlines or stress-induced insomnia, then your job may be killing you.

A lack of sleep causes impairment and decreased problem-solving capabilities. It also increases impulsive behavior and depression.

Here are some tips to help you set healthy sleep boundaries so you can do your best work:

  • Set an alarm at night to remind you to stop working and go to sleep.
  • Take an occasional morning off to catch up on some much-needed sleep.
  • Install room-darkening drapes, especially if your job requires you to work the night shift.
  • Stop checking all work emails and personal social media accounts an hour before bed.
  • If you are a light sleeper or your your bed partner is on a different sleep schedule than you, try using a separate top sheet and blanket to avoid disturbances.
  • Get natural light and fresh air first thing in the morning before heading into the office.

2- You Have Developed Unhealthy Eating Habits

If you rarely take a proper lunch break, constantly snack on junk food to get you through your work day or frequently go to lunch meetings or dinners where you overeat and overdrink, then your job may be killing you.

A lack of nutritious food and hydrating water increases your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. It also leaves you feeling grumpy and low on energy.

Here are some tips to help you develop healthier eating habits while on the job: 

  • Take a proper lunch break and leave your desk.
  • Choose healthy food options from home, the cafeteria or surrounding restaurants.
  • Eat small, healthy snacks throughout the day.
  • Drink more water and less soda, coffee, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages.

3- You Never Have Time for Exercise or Recreational Pursuits

If you always are too busy to exercise regularly or never have the time to pursue enjoyable recreational activities, your job may be killing you.

A lack of routine fitness and regular fun causes you to gain weight and have less happiness with yourself and the life you are living.

Here are some tips to help you develop a stronger physical body and emotional mind.

  • Choose alternative transportation to and from work. Walk to a bus station, ride a bike or even just park farther away from your building’s entrance.
  • Take a walk at lunch time.
  • Read something you enjoy during your breaks.
  • Leave work a little early and take a hike or meet up with friends.
  • Participate in workplace recreational events or sporting teams.
  • Visit a tourist site located near your office.  

4- You Always Put Your Family Last

If you find yourself canceling family plans due to work obligations or emotionally pushing your kids and spouse away due to fatigue and stress, your job may be killing you.

Personal relationships are the most important thing in your life. Studies show that by fostering caring relationships, bodily systemic inflammation is reduced significantly, as is the risk of morbidity and mortality.

Here are some tips to help you develop closer ties to your loved ones:

  • Leave your work at work, both literally and emotionally.
  • Take your vacation days.
  • Don’t work on important milestones, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
  • Teach your children what you do for work, how you do it and why. Give them a tour of your place of business.

5- You Don’t Have Job Stability or Health Benefits

If you are anxious about losing your job due to downsizing or other factors outside of your control or if you don’t get the medical attention or medications you need due to your employer not having adequate and affordable health benefits, your job may be killing you.

Suffering from high anxiety caused by unemployment and the instability it causes you and your family can cause significant health issues such as heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure. On top of that, if you have lack health insurance or if it is insufficient, health problems may go undiagnosed and untreated.

Here are some tips to help you secure greater job stability and get the health coverage your family needs:

  • Consult your manager or a job placement agency for help finding a more stable job or position.
  • Go back to school and earn a certification or degree in a field that interests you and offers good work opportunities.
  • Apply for health insurance through government programs or purchase your own health insurance through a private insurer.
  • Get help paying off existing medical expenses by working out an interest-free payment plan or applying for financial assistance from your medical provider.

By developing a stronger work/life balance, you’re also developing a stronger mind and body. By developing a stronger mind and body, you’ll not only delay health problems and death, but will lead a much happier and healthier life in the meantime.


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