For the last 6 years I worked at the MegaCorp I officially early retired from, I was a Corporate Officer and had the benefit of getting Executive Health benefits. Since we live in Minnesota, that meant I could go to the Mayo Clinic or a similar program (I usually went to one closer to the office) and be put through a full-day physical once per year.
Mayo is a Minnesota institution and they recently published these health facts on what the “Life of an Executive” means from a health standpoint. I thought I would share them (and some others I found) here because whether you have an executive role or not, many people have very busy, stressful jobs that leave them at risk for some of the same issues:
- 6.7 Hours – Average night’s sleep for an executive (24% less than average worker)
- 11.6 Hours – Average work hours per day (23% more than average worker)
- 90% – Number of executives that report struggling with work/home balance
- 48+ Days – Typical amount of business travel each year – studies show that it accelerates aging and increases disease exposure, risk of stroke, and heart disease
- 7 Days – Number of days lost to work stress a year among large-company employees
- 60% – Employees who say they don’t have enough time to do their job well (WHO)
- 73% – Of Executives have a sedentary lifestyle, not getting enough daily exercise
- 40% – Percent of CEOs are obese; 90% are considered overweight
- +12% – Risk of early death from sleep deprivation (WebMD)
- +60% – Higher risk of heart disease among those working > 10 hours/day (KSU)
- 40% – Percent of Executives that suffer from depression (2x general public)
- 46% – Frequently suffer from insomnia as a result of work stress (APA)
- +45% – Increased risk of development of Type 2 Diabetes from job stress
- 50% – Greater health care costs carried by people with stressful jobs (CDC)
- 25% – Reported snapping at a coworker because of work stress (APA)
- 80% – Heart attack victims who might have passed a stress test the day before (JPM)
To help combat these health impacts, the Mayo Clinic recommends that Executives take “fitness breaks” throughout the day. Even 10 minutes away from the desk and taking a brisk walk can be helpful. Additionally, if you are working too hard or feeling too much stress, talk to your manager about your workload. Oftentimes, even a very caring managers may not be completely aware of how much burden their employees are carrying or don’t see the combination of work and home stresses.
Here are the top 6 ways people say they deal with stress (from the APA):
- 46% – Listening to music
- 43% – Exercising or walking
- 40% – Surfing the internet/going online
- 39% – Watching TV or movies for more than 2 hours
- 35% – Reading books or magazines
- 35% – Spending time with family
Sorry for the depressing topic on a Monday morning, but as they say – knowing the problems gets you more than halfway to solving it. Late last year I wrote about how most of my gray hair went away after retiring 9 months earlier. While I never considered myself overly stressed – it was a visible sign of how much stress I was carrying around.
What solutions have you developed to deal with work stress and how effective have they been?
Image Credit: Pixabay
WHO = World Health Organization; JPM = Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine; CDC = Center for Disease Control; KSU = Kansas State University Study; APA = American Psychological Association