Heavy stress may shorten Sick of sit­ting? Here our life ex­pectancy: Study are ways to stay healthy at work

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide - - FRONT PAGE - Indo-Asian news ser­vice Indo-Asian News Ser­vice

The re­search re­veals that lack of ex­er­cise strongly re­duces the life ex­pectancy of men in their 30's — by 2.4 years, while con­sump­tion of fruits can in­crease the life ex­pectancy by 1.4 years and veg­eta­bles by 0.9 years

If you are tak­ing too much stress, read this care­fully. Re­searchers have found that life ex­pectancy is in­flu­enced not only by the tra­di­tional life­style-re­lated risk fac­tors, but also by fac­tors re­lated to a per­son’s qual­ity of life, such as heavy stress.

The study, pub­lished in the jour­nal BMJ Open, was based on data col­lected from men and women aged 25 to 74 in the Fin­nish Na­tional FINRISK Study 1987-2007 through ques­tion­naires and mea­sure­ments. The rate of mor­tal­ity was fol­lowed un­til the end of 2014.

For the find­ings, the re­searchers cal­cu­lated the ef­fects of mul­ti­ple risk fac­tors, in­clud­ing life­style-re­lated ones, to the life ex­pectancy of men and women.

“Be­fore, life ex­pectancy has usu­ally been as­sessed based on only a few so­ciode­mo­graphic back­ground fac­tor groups, such as age, sex, and ed­u­ca­tion. In this study, we wanted to as­sess the im­pact of sev­eral dif­fer­ent fac­tors to a per­son’s life ex­pectancy, so we could com­pare their ef­fects,” said study re­searcher Tommi Harka­nen from the Na­tional In­sti­tute for Health and Wel­fare in Fin­land.

The re­searchers cal­cu­lated the life ex­pectan­cies by chang­ing the val­ues of each risk fac­tor at a time and keep­ing the val­ues of other fac­tors con­stant.

Only the BMI, blood pres­sure, and choles­terol lev­els were al­lowed to be changed when the val­ues re­lated to life­style fac­tors were changed.


They found that the big­gest causes for short­ened life ex­pectancy for 30-year-old men are smok­ing and di­a­betes. Smok­ing takes 6.6 years and di­a­betes 6.5 years out of their life ex­pectancy.

Be­ing un­der heavy stress short­ens their life ex­pectancy by 2.8 years, the study said.

The re­search also re­vealed that a lack of ex­er­cise strongly re­duced the life ex­pectancy of 30-year-old men -- by 2.4 years.

On the other hand, things such as the con­sump­tion of plenty of fruits and veg­eta­bles could in­crease life ex­pectancy: eat­ing fruit by 1.4 years and eat­ing veg­eta­bles by 0.9 years.

The same fac­tors im­pacted the life ex­pectancy of both men and women.

For 30-year-old women, e.g. smok­ing short­ened the life ex­pectancy by 5.5 years, di­a­betes by 5.3 years, and heavy stress by 2.3 years.

The ef­fects to the life ex­pectancy of older peo­ple were sim­i­lar but smaller than in younger age groups.

Dif­fer­ences be­tween the life ex­pectan­cies of men and women largely due to risk fac­tors that can be changed, ac­cord­ing to the re­searchers.

“What was in­ter­est­ing about the study was how small the dif­fer­ence in the life ex­pectancy of 30-year-old men and women was based on the same risk fac­tor val­ues -- only 1.6 years,” said study re­searcher Seppo Kosk­i­nen.

The life­style choices that in­crease mor­tal­ity, such as smok­ing, heavy al­co­hol use, un­healthy diet, and lack of ex­er­cise, are most com­mon in the pop­u­la­tion groups whose so­cial po­si­tion is the weak­est, the study said.

In the cor­po­rate world, most of our days are spent sit­ting at our desks for a long pe­riod of time. It is hard to main­tain a healthy life­style es­pe­cially when it comes to bal­anc­ing both work and good health to­gether. Be­fore we even re­al­ize, this seden­tary life­style cou­pled with un­healthy eat­ing, high stress lev­els and in­ad­e­quate sleep will give us a set of var­i­ous life­style dis­eases in the long run.

Even though there is a con­stant com­pe­ti­tion in the work­place, a lit­tle dose of healthy eat­ing and ex­er­cises in sim­ple forms al­ways does the trick. And how can of­fice life and a happy life go hand-in-hand? Sh­eryl Salis, di­eti­cian and di­a­betes ed­u­ca­tor, lists be­low a cou­ple of ways to make your life eas­ier and health­ier.


As the evening strikes and the hunger pangs kick in, we au­to­mat­i­cally nav­i­gate to­wards that bag of un­healthy food. In­stead of bing­ing on chips or that vada pav, in­dulge your­self in nu­tri­tious meals that are high in pro­tein and su­per­food nour­ish­ment like soups. The one minute in­stant soups are the ideal evening healthy snack as they are con­ve­nient to make, healthy and fill­ing. These days you even get soups that have 4X* pro­tein com­pared to reg­u­lar soups. More­over, as the chilly days con­tinue, soups do cre­ate a nour­ish­ing op­tion to keep you warm and agile thereby mak­ing it the per­fect snack­ing op­tion in the evenings


Con­sid­er­ing that many of us have desk work, we tend to spend a lot of time sit­ting and as per stud­ies, sit­ting for over 9 hours a day could con­jure up a lot of health risks. Sit­ting is the new smok­ing. So get mov­ing. Take a break be­tween your mails, backto-back meet­ings, work calls and in­dulge your­self for a stroll for at least 5 min­utes after ev­ery 30 mins. This will help you con­cen­trate more, boost your mood and help you avoid those mus­cle cramps.


With the amount of stress that keeps build­ing up, it’s no won­der you feel so bogged down with work. It is im­por­tant to start your day with a pos­i­tive mind­set and filled with en­ergy. Try to take crit­i­cism as con­struc­tive feed­back. En­sure your work place is a fun place and not a war zone that tends to sur­round you with neg­a­tiv­ity. Find your source of hap­pi­ness in the lit­tle things like a com­ple­tion of a task or a com­pli­ment from the boss.


As soon as you see those shoul­ders drop and eyes droopy, it is high time to play a few games. Call it a fun team bond­ing ses­sion or stress-bust­ing games, there are var­i­ous means to en­sure a fun time. One of the best ways to club fit­ness and en­ter­tain­ment to­gether is to go to an in­door ad­ven­ture and a tram­po­line park. It surely will help you re­lease stress.

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