Checking Work Emails After Hours Is Hurting Your Health

Research shows that working during off-hours increases stress and impacts personal relationships.

Curious about the impact of working during off-hours on mental health and interpersonal relationships, researchers from Virginia Tech surveyed 108 employees working at least 30 hours a week, along with 138 significant others, and 105 managers. The study results indicated that feeling obligated to check work emails after hours leads to increased anxiety in both employees and their partners.

Over time, both partners can be impacted by chronic anxiety, which can lead to chronic stress and poor physical and mental health. Depending on the individual, anxiety can also cause changes in appetite, mood, concentration, and sleep. Underestimating this impact could be the root cause of larger issues.

The research suggests that it’s important to proactively for employees to separate their work life from their personal life in order to alleviate anxiety and improve relationships with their significant others. Professor Becker tells ABC News, “Quality of relationships matter, as does being mindful and present. Turn your phone off, put it away and engage in your real life.” It’s easy to get caught up in your work life and technology, but it is manageable if you choose to be present. There is good news for New Yorkers: a “Right to Disconnect” bill has been introduced which would make it unlawful for private employees in New York to respond to work emails after hours. This bill is the first of its kind in the United States so if it is passed it could set a major precedent. 


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4 Steps to Shedding Your Pandemic Pounds

Forgive yourself, and start walking toward a healthier you.

For those of you who have put on the Pandemic Pounds or added several new COVID Curves, you are not alone. Alarmingly, the American Psychological Association has recently published that almost half of all adults in their survey now have a larger physique. In fact, 42% of people reported gaining roughly 15 pounds (the average published was surprisingly 29 pounds but that included outliers) over the past year. Interestingly, 20% of adults in this survey lost about 12 pounds (I am surely not in this group). Clearly, there is a relationship between stress and weight change. In addition, one in four adults disclosed an increase in alcohol consumption, and 67% of participants distressingly revealed that they have new sleeping patterns.

This past year has brought about what has been called the 'new normal.' Social isolation and inactivity due to quarantining and remote working have sadly contributed to the decline in many people's mental and physical health, as demonstrated by the widespread changes in people's weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping patterns. Gym closures, frequent ordering of unhealthy takeout, and increased time at home cooking and devouring comfort foods have had a perceptible impact. In addition, many people have delayed routine medical care and screening tests over fear of contracting Covid-19 during these visits. Unfortunately, the 'new normal' has now placed too many people at risk for serious health consequences, including heart attacks and strokes.

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