Posted on 12 August 2011.
by N. Cooper
Online Career Tips Staff
I logged into LinkedIn the other day to check my inbox, and glanced over the headlines displayed at the top of the page. Â One caught my eye.
“Are Your Co-Workers Killing You?”
Well, if that’s not a loaded title, I’m not quite sure what is. Â Regardless, curious and totally intrigued I clicked it and it too me to this article over on Wired.com.
The article discusses a studyÂ led by Arie Shirom at Tel Aviv University that reveals the powerful impact of one’s workplace on one’s longevity. Â A scary thing… but still curious and totally intrigued, I kept reading.
While we may go to the gym after work, or go to bootcamp or hot yoga in the mornings before coming in; Wired is right, we spend the majority of our time seated in our chair, staring at a computer, plugging away whilst surrounded by co-workers.
The study featured subjects from various professions who were interviewed regularly about conditions at their places of work — ranging from how they get along with colleagues, what the environment at the office is like all the way to the behavior of their superiors. Â Over a course of many years, their health was closely monitored (scientists were looking for things like high blood pressure, depressing, and smoking).
Well, apparently researchers discovered that office conditions do matter when it comes to your health. Â Health and “risk of death” were apparently correlated with the perceived niceness of co-workers (crazy, right!?).
The article goes on to point out (and I’m glad they did) that this is no surprise; as friendly individuals helpÂ relieveÂ stress and make work a better place… therefore nice colleagues = less stress (most of the time, at least).
The worst part? The study found that people with little or no “peer social support” at work were 2.4 times more likely to die during the study (sorry for being Debbie Downer, just reporting the results, folks!).
What’s interesting is that the niceness of the subjects’ superiors had little impact whatsoever.
[Read: Do Your Emotions Runneth Over at Work?]
So, the moral of the story? Try to get along with the people you work with. Â While it may or may not help you live longer, it will definitely make for a more positive environment at work, it’ll stress you out less, and who knows? You may just make some great friends while you’re at it!
Read the rest of Jonah Lehrer’s article on Wired.com here.