Navigation Links
Hang out at the water cooler, live longer

Tel Aviv Companies like Google and are famous for their "work hard, play hard" attitudes and friendly work environments, but are their employees healthier too? According to a Tel Aviv University researcher, a positive relationship with your co-workers has long-term health benefits.

Dr. Sharon Toker of the Department of Organizational Behavior at TAU's Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration says that employees who believe that they have the personal support of their peers at work are more likely to live a longer life. "We spend most of our waking hours at work, and we don't have much time to meet our friends during the weekdays," explains Dr. Toker. "Work should be a place where people can get necessary emotional support."

Dr. Toker and her TAU colleagues Prof. Arie Shirom and Yasmin Alkaly, along with Orit Jacobson and Ran Balicer from Clalit Healthcare Services, followed the health records of 820 adults who worked an average of 8.8 hours a day through a two-decade period. Those who had reported having low social support at work were 2.4 times more likely to die sometime within those 20 years, says Dr. Toker.

The study has been published in the journal Health Psychology.

Reaching out

820 study participants were drawn from adults aged 25 to 65 who came into their local HMO office for a routine check-up. Researchers controlled for various psychological, behavioral or physiological risk factors, such as smoking, obesity and depression, and administered a questionnaire to participants, who were drawn from a wide variety of professional fields including finance, health care and manufacturing.

Researchers asked about employees' relationships with their supervisors, and also assessed the subjects' evaluation of their peer relationships at work, and whether their peers were friendly and approachable, a reflection of emotional and professional support. Dr. Toker suspects that the perception of emotional support was the strongest indicator of future health.

During the course of the study, says Dr. Toker, 53 participants died, most of whom had negligible social connections with their co-workers. A lack of emotional support at work led to a 140% increased risk of dying in the next twenty years compared to those who reported supportive co-workers, she concluded.

While building a supportive environment for employees may seem intuitive, Dr. Toker says that many workplaces have lost their way. Despite open concept offices, many people use email rather than face-to-face communication, and social networking sites that may provide significant social connection are often blocked.

How to make an office friendlier to your health? Dr. Toker suggests coffee corners where people can congregate to sit and talk; informal social outings for staff members; an internal virtual social network similar to Facebook; or a peer-assistance program where employees can confidentially discuss stresses and personal problems that may affect their position at work anything that encourages employees to feel emotionally supported, she says.

Power burdens women, frees men

The study also addressed "control issues" in the workplace, Dr. Toker says. Study participants were asked if they were able to take initiative at work and if they had the freedom to make their own decisions on how tasks should be accomplished. Results indicate that while men flourished when afforded more control over their daily work tasks, women with the same control had a shorter lifespan.. Those women who reported that they had significant control over their tasks and workflow had a 70 percent increased risk of dying over the 20-year period.

In one sense, explains Dr. Toker, power at work is a good thing. "But there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders," she adds. "If you have to make important decisions with no guidance, it can be stressful." Women in high power positions, she adds, may be overwhelmed with the need to be tough at work, and still be expected to maintain stressful duties when at home.


Contact: George Hunka
American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Related medicine news :

1. Abatement Technologies Announces High-Velocity RAPTOR™ Air Movers for Water Damage Restoration Contractors
2. First Breakthrough in Water Heating Technology!
3. Responds to the National Acadamy of Sciences Report that Millions of Americans Get Sick Yearly from Contaminated Water
4. Mouli Cohen on Innovating Israeli Water Technology
5. Angeles Launches New Portable Hot Water Sinks
6. EarthTrade Water to Hold a Private Screening of Tapped - The Movie: The Truth About Bottled Water Revealed During ExpoWest
7. Abbott Research Group, Inc. Launches New Product - WaterWorks
8. Worlds most useful tree provides low-cost water purification method for developing world
9. Study Reveals Californians Must Increase Earthquake Preparedness; Less Than 20 Percent Have Prepared Their Homes; Only 40 Percent Have Sufficient Water
10. Grand Opening of LIFE Ionizer Australia Launches with a Free Ionizer Upgrade with Purchase of Alkaline Water Ionizer from LIFE Ionizer Australia
11. 2010 UNICEF Tap Project Launches to Help Provide Safe Water to Children Worldwide
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Hang out at the water cooler, live longer
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, ... again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named ... Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Friendswood, TX (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... through the companies’ “ Two Organizations, One Beat ” campaign. The partnership between the ... its services to aid in MAP International’s cause. , MAP International was founded in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Boca Raton, Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 25, ... ... on-site diagnostic testing for physicians and athletic programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics ... the importance of testing young athletes for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Beddit® has launched a new Android ... The new app features a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep quality on a ... The SleepScore is created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data to provide ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... LOUIS, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... Project HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a ... Proceeds from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in the ... Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, Emerging ... --> ) has announced the ... and Growth Strategies in the German Drugs ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ( ... "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy Devices, ... (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global Forecast ... --> --> The purpose ... and forecast of the global advanced wound care market. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds "Global Repaglinide ... "Investigation Report on China Repaglinide Market, ... forecasts data and information to its ... . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: