Every single job out there comes with its own set of challenges. More often than not, even most people who are lucky enough to do what they love still experience varying levels of stress, one of the known major contributors of premature ageing. Indeed, success often comes at the cost of our wide-eyed youth. Besides stress, some jobs are also more likely expose its workers to other contributors of ageing, such as sun damage and sedentary lifestyles. Research also seems to suggest that certain work life aspects are more likely to age people at a much accelerated rate than others. Before you know it, you find yourself in the need to seek help to rid those pesky fine lines caused by your frowning. Does the same apply to your own line of work?
Ageing, Stress Levels & High-Powered Jobs
Are you constantly overwhelmed by stress at work? If so, your job is most likely one of the main culprits behind all those fine lines and wrinkles on your face. Stress does quite a number on us, contributing to a whole host of health matters that can accelerate ageing. Experts noted that those caught in careers with high levels of stress tend to age a lot faster than their peers. The more stressed you are, the more your body tends to release stress hormones such as cortisol. Left unchecked for far too long, stress often leads to health conditions such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and weight gain.
People in positions of power, including top dogs of companies and nations, are among those more likely to age faster due to the stressful nature of their jobs. People in such positions can’t afford to make mistakes in their line of work since any mistakes that they make have major consequences on so many other lives. This invariably aggravates stress levels for prolonged periods of time. In addition, people who hold such high-powered jobs are also less inclined to dedicate enough time for sufficient rest or regular engagement in physical activity, which are important for keeping cortisol levels in check. Aside from that, there are also some individuals that have different working hours as compared to others due to their nature of their job, thus affecting their usual sleep cycle.
Sedentary Jobs, Sleep Quality & Accelerated Ageing
Consider your job’s level of activity as well as its reliance on electronic devices. Does your job require you to move around a lot or is it purely desk-bound? Although sedentary careers tend to be relatively safer and less dangerous, other factors may affect our sleep quality and thus contribute to accelerated ageing. One such instance is poor posture. Research indicates that people with poor posture are more likely to suffer from a wide array of health conditions, which may contribute to accelerated ageing. These include chronic pain, fatigue, and poor blood circulation — all of which may severely interfere with quality of sleep. Without enough sleep, your body is less able to fully recover from all the stress you put it through.
In addition, the more time you spend in front of the computer, the more likely you are to suffer from insomnia. Your computer screens emit blue light, known to disrupt your natural circadian rhythm over time and rob you of precious hours needed to sleep. And as previously mentioned, studies suggest strong links between sleep deprivation and accelerated skin ageing. That’s why people who often need to work on their computers beyond office hours are at greater risk of rapid ageing. This includes teachers who often need to complete administrative tasks on their work laptops at odd hours that are close to their stipulated bedtimes.
What Can You Do About It?
Don’t throw in the towel just yet if you tick too many of the above boxes. When you’re working, some amount of stress pretty much comes with the territory anyway. It’s how you respond to these stressors that matter. Hence, consider techniques that you could use to neutralise and reduce your stress levels at work. For instance, if you believe that any part of your workplace’s standard operating procedure is a major stressor, try to think of alternatives for it that you could negotiate with your superiors. Approaching your bosses with a laundry list of problems without any solutions isn’t going to work anything in your favour.
When stressors at the workplace come with no readily available solutions, think of ways for you to keep your stress levels to a minimum. Excuse yourself from your desk, if you can, and step outside for a ten-minute walk. Some fresh air might just be able to clear the fog from your head and recharge you just enough to get you through the rest of the day. Furthermore, some physical activity may be able to release endorphins, a neurotransmitter that may be able to boost your mood as well as reduce the level of cortisol in your bloodstream. When leaving the building isn’t possible, at least consider a brief escape to the restroom until you feel yourself calm down. Grab your portable music listening device, too, and listen to some relaxing music, if you wish.