Study: Workers' Stress Much Higher Than Bosses

That reminds me of my friend, Jerry Belcher, a reporter known for his wit and talent at the San Francisco Examiner and the Los Angeles Times prior to his death a few years ago. We were discussing his constant warfare with his editors one day when he offered this comment on how he started each day.

"I get up each morning," he told me, "wondering what they're going to do to me today."

Maybe in addition to not being all that happy about trudging off to a job that isn't all that rewarding, worker bees are a bit uneasy about the tasks that the boss may have lined up for them that day.

Of course, that's just speculation, since the study didn't address that unanticipated result of the research.

Solution? Exercise Exercise Exercise

The scientists are confident that the stress tests were accurate, since they found no significant difference in heart rate, pulse and cortisol when the participants were not at work. And none of the participants had a prior history of heart disease, or high blood pressure. Allowances were made for such things as alcohol consumption and smoking.

So it has to be the work.

But we all have jobs to do, so what do we do about it?

Another study just released by the University of Missouri at Columbia offers a possible solution. Scientists there found that exercise helps, and the more the better. Although previous studies have found that modest exercise eases anxiety, the Missouri researchers found that high-intensity exercise continues to hold down stress levels long after the exercise is over.

So the answer seems to be fairly basic. Head for the gym and work your buns off.

Lee Dye’s column appears weekly on A former science writer for the Los Angeles Times, he now lives in Juneau, Alaska.

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