The Globe and Mail: Why some workaholics stay healthy and others get sick
Originally found at The Globe and Mail, by Darah Hansen
A British Columbia researcher has good news for workaholics who worry their excessive behaviour may be harmful to their health.
It all depends on whether you’re driven to overwork by compulsion or passion, according to Lieke ten Brummelhuis, assistant professor of management at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business in Vancouver and lead author of a new study examining work habits published in the Academy of Management Discoveries.
It's widely accepted that the drive to put in grinding hours on the job can come at a cost of serious medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
But Dr. ten Brummelhuis has determined that not all workaholics face the same level of risk to their physical and mental well-being.
Rather, she says in an e-mail, "It's important for employees to reflect on the reason why they work so hard."
The study draws from a survey of nearly 1,300 workers at an international consulting company. Employee work hours were examined alongside a questionnaire that probed respondents' engagement on the job, their level of workaholism and relative health. A portion of the workers surveyed – more than 750 people – also underwent medical screenings to test for evidence of stress-related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
The researchers found that workaholics with above-average engagement with their job reported similar health complaints to those with low engagement – including depressive feelings, sleep problems, headaches and sore muscles.
Continue reading original article at The Globe and Mail.
Read the original research in Academy of Management Discoveries
Learn more about the AOM Scholars and explore their work:
- Lieke L. Ten Brummelhuis, Simon Fraser University
- Nancy P. Rothbard, University of Pennsylvania
- Benjamin Uhrich, University of North Carolina – Charlotte