|A retreat for the well-being of my mind from the insanity of the life that is mine.|
Friday, December 16, 2005 0 comments
Mood: Stressed out
Reading: Russia slams Iranian leader's Holocaust remarks
Currently listening to: Nothing
Quote of the day: "Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it." - Jane Wagner
Just wanted to share an interesting article which i stumbled across the other day. Although this has been known in a nonspecific manner, the implications of unequivocally proving the relationship, down to a genetic level, between stress and sickness could potentially hold consequences for employees and laws governing working hours, activities and conditions should it be taken up with the relevant regulatory bodies.
Come to think of it, even companies might be well advised to identify, measure and strike a balance with the level of work related stress in order to reduce the chances of an employee being taken ill and therefore being rendered completely ineffective (which holds for savings in terms of corporate medical coverage as well).
I have reprinted the article below in full but it can be found here.
Stress Causes Sickness: Study
A group of Sydney researchers says it has scientifically proven that stress causes sickness.
The Garvan Institute scientists say they have discovered that a hormone, known as neuropeptide Y, is released into the body during times of stress.
One of the researchers, associate Professor Herbert Herzog, says the findings show the hormone can stop the immune system from functioning properly.
"Neuropeptide Y is one of those hormones that gets unregulated or released from neurones when stressful situations occur," he said.
"And it's known for example that it regulates blood pressure and heart rates so your heart rate goes up but it hasn't been known that it actually can affect immune cells as well."
Professor Herzog says it is good to have proof of something people have suspected for so long.
"Now we have proven without doubt that there is a direct link and that stress can weaken the immune system and that makes you more vulnerable when you for example have a cold or flu and even in the more serious situations such as cancer can be enhanced in these situations," he said.
The impact of stress on the body can best be observed in athletes.
PHD researcher at the University of Queensland Luke Spence, together with the Australian Institute of Sport, studied elite and recreational athletes over five months.
They found elite athletes were more susceptible to respiratory diseases.
"A lot of elite athletes put themselves through vast amounts of physical stress in their training, but also their emotional, psychological stress of feeling the pressure of Australia on their shoulders, wanting to compete and wanting to do their best," Mr Spence said.
Mr Spence says the Australian Institute of Sport is now modifying the training of athletes to focus on quality rather than quantity.
But it is not just elite athletes who are prone to stress.
Pressures at work and at home cause emotional and mental stress that can be equally damaging.
Almost a third of all work absenteeism is due to illness, costing employers more than $10 billion a year.
"I think it has a huge impact for the work force and also for employers - if their employees are constantly stressed, constantly under pressure, they are more likely to get sick," Mr Spence said.
This research could lead to the development of a new drug, which may work to inhibit the action of the neuropeptide Y hormone that attacks the immune system.
But Professor Herzog warns people to minimise stress before it becomes a problem.
"Relaxation methods like yoga will help you to prevent that but there will still be people out there that are not responding to that and treatment by interfering with the system will be important," he said.
"There's obviously some time until such a treatment will be available but this is something we will definitely work towards."
Name: Patrick Pincon
Studied at: Monash
Work: Business Development
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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