10 Proven Ways to Reduce Stress at Work (And Why Overwork Could be Killing You)

Dayna Hessel

10 Proven Ways to Reduce Stress at Work (And Why Overwork Could be Killing You)
7 min2020 AUG 28
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High stress levels can ruin pretty much any health goal you have: you’ll store more fat, you’ll struggle to gain muscle, you'll have less energy, you'll have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, and dozens of other undesirable things that I'll skip for now.

But the effects of stress don't stop there…

In Japan, physicians have a diagnosis that is called “karoshi.”Karoshi  literally translates to “death by overwork” and it refers to the sudden death of an employee, usually from a heart attack or stroke due to stress at work.

Japan first added karoshi as a death category in 1980 and since that time the number of deaths that fall within that category has soared. Not only that, but karoshi has also been labeled as the cause for hundreds of severe illnesses, suicide attempts and mental illnesses each year.

As the death toll mounted, the Japanese government put pressure on companies to change. Toyota limited the amount of overtime an employee could work each month. Mitsubishi Bank allowed employees to go home up to three hours early to care for children or elderly relatives.

Here's what's interesting about this: Japan is one of the only countries in the world that counts karoshi as a separate death category.

In America, we have just as many deaths from work stress, but we don’t hear about it because we don’t keep track of it in the same way. In other words, many Americans are literally “working themselves to death” and nobody is doing anything about it because we don't have the numbers to prove it.