MIDTOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) -- Most people in the Tri-State got Labor Day off from work, but a growing number of employees have to work on the holiday. Also, many people off from work on Monday were getting a one-day respite from jobs they don't necessarily love. Both of those facts support the findings of a new, detailed study. It concludes that pressures at work may be slowly killing some workers, and in some cases, the health deterioration may not be so slow.
The study, carried out by researchers from the Harvard Business School and Stanford University, concluded that intense work pressure can have the same effect on an employee's well being regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.
That smoking hazard can lead to asthma attacks, respiratory and other infections, coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and even death.
"That's rough," said retail worker Avanelle David on her way in to work on the holiday. "I didn't think it was that bad."
The study, recently published in a behavioral sciences journal, just in time for Labor Day, analyzed more than 200 different studies on stress on the job, and the conclusions were eye opening.
It found that when workers feel their jobs aren't secure, the odds of them reporting poor health rises 50 percent. When work hours are consistently long, mortality is 19 percent more likely. Also, when there are high demands on the job, the chance of a worker developing a diagnosed illness rises 35 percent.
10 DIY stress relief ideas to use in the workplace:
10 DIY Stress Relief
Study reveals shocking link between work stress and life expectancy
If you can’t get to the nail salon, give yourself an at-home manicure. Here are all the supplies you need, and a guide to the prettiest, must-have colors this year. Trust us, zoning out while working on your nails is a surefire way to relax, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
Everyone knows chocolate is an instant stress-buster. Instead of eating it (I know, I know…), try using it in your beauty routine. It smells amazing; I know even the scent of a yummy chocolate concoction can calm me down on a bad day! Mint Chocolate Sugar Scrub will slough off any dead skin, leaving you soft and smooth. (If you’ve got more time on your hands, try a Chocolate Milk Bath.)
Hydration is key to keeping skin moisturized and healthy-looking, and for flushing out pore-clogging toxins. Pop some infused water in the fridge and you’ll be more inclined to fill up your glass or bottle throughout the day. And you’ll get the beauty benefits of whatever fruits, veggies or herbs you use.
Roses are great for stress relief and skin, and their scent can’t be beat. Decompress while you take care of your beauty routine with these easy rose DIYs. (We especially love the rose-chamomile calming face scrub and rosewater toner.)
This sounds a little too simple, but remember to breathe! A naturopath once told me to stop what I was doing once an hour to simply close my eyes and take 3-4 deep breaths—and it totally works. It’s instant relaxation, especially if you work at a computer a lot. (All that squinting will give you wrinkles and bleary eyes!) I always go back to work re-energized, and those little breaks made me realize how much I was clenching my jaw. Give it a try!
"Stress is something psychological,"Maria Morabito told PIX11 News. "Psychological illnesses are not very well known, and yet they have a physical impact on us."
She is a tour guide, but it turned out that she was speaking from experience. She took on her current position in order to get out of a higher stress job: teaching.
"I was so stressed," said Morabito, "that I became paralyzed for six months."
With the U.S. being the only one of the world's 21 wealthiest countries to not have guaranteed paid days off, there's no shortage of people working on the holiday.
One boss gave his advice for reducing stress among his workers.
"Getting them outside, a little break, not feel like you're all day inside the building," said delivery supervisor Reagan Santos. "Buy them lunch," he added. "Appreciate your employees."
The study showed that while that helps, there are deeper issues, like employees having to choose between work and family, having limited control over decisions that affect them and having no health insurance.