As a result of mitigating “stressful workplace conditions and work-family conduct,” as co-author Lisa Berkman told the Gazette, employees who had been identified as having a higher risk of heart disease saw heart health improve. The impact was nearly twice as significant for the caregivers, who saw their risk of heart disease decrease to the levels of someone 10 years younger, compared to 5.5 years for the IT employees.
There are a lot of conclusions we can draw from this, not the least of which is that working in a stressful environment is bad for your long-term health, and that a better work-life balance with mitigated stress could potentially allow you to live longer. Previous studies have found that vacation time is crucial for reducing stress. In one two-decade study of Massachusetts women, those who vacationed less than once every six years were eight times more likely to have a heart attack or develop heart disease than women who went on holiday twice a year or more.