I’ll admit it. I’ve already—sort of—covered work stress and blood pressure. Yet, I barely delved into why work causes hypertension. Moreover, I didn’t talk about the doubts and debate behind the theory.
So, that’s what I’m doing today.
Hypertension can have considerable repercussions. That worsens since blood pressure can spike for many reasons. So, you might be putting yourself at risk without knowing it.
But, is your job really one of them? Let’s find out.
Why work causes hypertension: Stress, not work
Well, merely working won’t cause hypertension. It might not even make you feel stressed. And, that’s the underlying answer behind why work causes hypertension.
Working doesn’t relate to hypertension directly. For instance, using your keyboard won’t boost your blood pressure. After all, chatting with friends or playing video games don’t do that. Still, you’re sitting in front of a PC screen and using it.
That’s because you’re not stressed. And, chronic stress is what affects your blood pressure.
Stress triggers primitive survival mechanisms. To put it simply, it releases epinephrine and norepinephrine. They’re what we commonly know as “adrenaline.”
Their goal is to provide extra energy for emergencies. But, that means constricting blood vessels and raising blood pressure.
Being a workaholic could also be why work causes hypertension
That said, most people do relate work with stress. That’s why workaholics tend to have blood pressure issues.
This study from Heart.org dives into it.
Essentially, people who work for longer have a higher hypertension risk. Moreover, “masked hypertension” is also more likely. That means high blood pressure that doesn’t show in standard tests.
People working long shifts should see the doctor more often. Working over 49 weekly hours leads to a 70% higher chance of masked hypertension. The same goes for a sustained hypertension chance of 66%.
But work might not be entirely responsible for hypertension
However, the study didn’t account for related stressors outside of work. For instance, home-related stressors typically worsen work stress. They include the following:
- Bills and other financial constraints.
- Children and pets.
- Personal and health issues.
Typically, we can’t neglect these variables when evaluating why work causes hypertension. Someone might work longer hours and feel stressed. Yet, the cause might be unpaid debt or kids going to college.
Conversely, that means you might not be entirely safe if your work doesn’t stress you. Always assess your home situation and other problems. It’ll help you get a more accurate picture.
Moreover, it could trigger a timely visit to the doctor.
“High job strain”: The answer for why work causes hypertension?
WebMD claims that work stress isn’t a particularly big deal. But, it defends that it could be a substantial heart health risk.
The article suggests that high job strain could be why work causes hypertension. They define it as exposure to high psychological demands. That pairs low control over their job.
Stressful jobs often combine these factors, creating a breeding ground for stress. People under these positions typically have higher BP than their coworkers.
But, not everyone agrees that work causes hypertension
That said, it’s vital to see the flip side. Not everyone thinks work results in hypertension. The links between job stress and hypertension tend to be weak. The same goes for heart function.
The article admits that stress can raise blood pressure. But, the link between stress and hypertension could be a myth. Studies suggest that a strong link has been elusive.
Finally, the article proposes that stress’ link to hypertension is indirect. In other words, stress-caused behaviors are the reason behind hypertension.
For instance, stress often causes the following:
- Excessive drinking.
- Substance abuse.
The holistic takeaway
Luckily, you’re not out of luck. Firstly, the answer to why work causes hypertension might be “it doesn’t.”
But it doesn’t end there.
You can fight stress in countless ways. Exercise, friendship, and many other tactics can fight blood pressure.
That leads us to today’s recommendation.
The Blood Pressure Program is a fantastic exercise and nutrition guide. It proposes a natural and effective way to fight hypertension.
If you want to learn more, feel free to read my review over here!