Live Longer By Being Nice To Co-Workers

live longer being nice to co-workersWork can be more challenging for employees than it was just a few years ago. The mass layoffs of the recent recession have resulted in fewer people doing the same amount of work.

That can result in some pretty tense workplaces, but a new study suggests that if employees stand together and support each other, the effort can pay off in an unexpected way -- longer lives.

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Citing a new study, PsychCentral states that workers who believe that they have the personal support of their peers can have positive influence on long-term health.

"We spend most of our waking hours at work, and we don't have much time to meet our friends during the weekdays," says researcher Sharon Toker of Tel Aviv University in Israel. "Work should be a place where people can get necessary emotional support."

The study involved 820 adults who worked nearly 9 hours a day over 20 years. Those who report having low social support at work were 2.4 times more likely to die sometime within those 20 years, Toker says.

The study is published in the journal Health Psychology.

During the course of the two-decade-long study, PsychCentral reports, 53 study participants died, most of whom had little interaction with their co-workers.

As Toker notes, a lack of emotional support in the workplace increased the risk of dying in the next two decades by 140 percent, compared to those who received support from their colleagues.

The researcher blames technology for part of the problem, suggesting that email and instant messaging programs have reduced the need for human interaction.

Among ways to make the workplace a more social place, Toker advises companies to create employee support groups in which workers can discuss problems in confidence, and coffee corners where employees can gather to sit and talk.

Stresses can be particularly acute for women in executive positions, Toker says, because they may be overwhelmed by the need to be tough at work while also maintaining the duties of running a household.


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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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Eye Pi

You think any one is going to help us whether you believe in ETs or angels or god or gods you think with the way we treat each other they are going to automatically come here and save us?

August 10 2011 at 5:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

A person may or may not live longer by being nice to co-workers, but we all face the same ultimate question of our mortality, and that is; "What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be. One day your heart will be asking, "What will He do with me?"

Furthermore, our Beloved Nation desperately needs to get back to our Founding Fathers' Roots, the Bible, and "In God We Trust." Otherwise, our Nation will continue in its fatal, inverted, flat tailspin, soon to "auger in" so to speak, (pilot talk for "crash and burn").

(See 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalm 33:12, Proverbs 14:34, and John 3:16,17).

Peace.

August 10 2011 at 5:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Steve's comment
Eye Pi

Well personally i would rather be like jesus then what the bible tells me to be since it was rewritten over and over again by man and during those times i wouldent really consider people moral.

Peace.

August 10 2011 at 5:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eye Pi

Judging by these comments posted here on aol or yahoo i can see why this world is miserable place to be in.

August 10 2011 at 5:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eye Pi

Yes lets just stop being nice and just start fighting each other that works its been working so far hasnt it
somtimes it seems like we never learn from history
if the good die young maybe there is reason maybe they dont belong in this evil world where people preach the oppisite of whats good for there spiecies.

August 10 2011 at 5:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristen

Yeah right. In my workplace, I work with a bunch of girls that will be sweet as pie to your face, but think nothing of sticking the "dagger in your back" as soon as you turn around and walk out of the room. I see it on a daily basis.

"Hman570", yes, even in this dismal economy, job or not, people will be..pardon the expression.."bumholes".

August 10 2011 at 3:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
imperator58

Actually, observation has shown me that the evil, mean & rotten just won't die and the "nice" are gone all too soon. Evil lives into their eighties or even nineties while Good drops off in like their sixties, if not earlier. What's up with that? Is it just pure selfishness that keeps the world's scum driving on?

August 10 2011 at 2:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to imperator58's comment
Eye Pi

yes and look at the world now its dump

August 10 2011 at 5:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Eye Pi's comment
Eye Pi

its a trash bin i should say

August 10 2011 at 5:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
dickn2000b

Is this proof that nice guys finish last?

August 10 2011 at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
annedyth

Can I say I'm kind of so so on this...?.

August 09 2011 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hman570

Yeah that works? Who is the fools that come up with this stuff?? With the pressure on the few people that have jobs it is getting harder and harder to be nice to anyone??

August 09 2011 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deborah

Dont get me wrong,I am a nice person and I'd rather be nice but sometimes you just have to call it how you see it and put somebody in their place. That doesnt mean you have to call them all kinds of names and bash them.

August 09 2011 at 8:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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