POST 50
02/04/2013 12:33 pm ET

Work Stress Experienced In Midlife Linked To Elderly Disabilities

This will make you stop and count to 10 the next time you're feeling stressed at the office: the more stressed you are in midlife, the more likely it is you will experience some form of disability when you're older.

The link between work-related stress and age-related disability is strong, according to a study conducted by the Gerontology Research Center at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. More than 5,000 people were monitored during the prime of their working years (from the ages of 44 to 58) and checked on again 28 years later. Researchers found that those who had reported long-term stress in midlife had more difficulties with a wide array of day-to-day activities, such as bathing, dressing, shopping, cleaning and taking their medication by the time they were 78. Even those with occasional bouts of stress were shown to have some level of disability.

Work stress can also impact your life a lot sooner than during your golden years. A review of 13 studies conducted over 20 years in England found that demanding jobs may cause heart attacks and death. Those who have stressful jobs with little control over decision making were 23 percent more likely to have a heart attack.

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