How Exercise Makes Your Job Less Stressful

The best way to prevent the bad health consequences of work stress is exercise

Stress can be detrimental to your health, contributing to everything from higher blood pressure to nausea. Now, a new study zeroes in one of the the biggest sources of stress—our jobs—and suggests that exercise may be an effective way to ease the health problems sometimes caused by work stress.

Researchers found that the people who were more stressed had higher levels of risk factors for heart disease. But the people who were more fit were less likely to have these risk factors.

The researchers didn’t ask the people in the study whether exercise relieved their stress, but other studies suggest it does. “However, the paradox is that after a stressful day, people are more prone to engage in sedentary activities—most likely because these activities need less self-regulatory resources than exercise,” says study author Markus Gerber of University of Basel in Switzerland. “Thus, although exercise might be a good medicine against stress, it will only have an impact if ‘the pill’ is taken.”

Time Magazine