Bad bosses are bad for the heart

An overbearing boss may be more than just a daily annoyance.
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Dec 08, 2008
By dvm360.com staff
You may think you’re a great boss, but what do your employees think? If their opinions aren’t favorable, you may be bad for their health, according to new research.

The Swedish study, published in the Nov. 25 online edition of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that workers’ risk for angina, heart attack, and death rose along with the reported incompetencies of their bosses. The research team collected data on more than 3,000 Swedish men between the ages of 19 and 70 who had previously received a heart checkup. They then matched these men with hospital records for heart disease illness and death up to 2003.

The group found that the study participants’ heart disease risk directly correlated with the reported competencies of their bosses. In fact, the health risk increased the longer someone worked in the same stressful environment.

Lead researcher Anna Nyberg says business owners play a key role in their employees’ health. Providing employees with information, support, power in relation to responsibilities, clarity in expectations, and feedback­ could have important stress-reducing effects and improve health in the workplace, she says.

So the next time you assess your managerial skills, keep in mind that you’re doing more than creating an efficient workplace. You could be saving lives.