A new study led by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Penn State University shows increasing workplace flexibility may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Published on Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, the study looked at stressors in the workplace that can cause heart attacks and strokes. The study also looked closely at lower wage earners who researchers say are more vulnerable due to their lack of control over their schedules and job demands. 

Speaking with 7NEWS, one researcher said the stress can get to anybody. 

“Anybody can have a bad day and it raises your blood pressure a little bit,” said Dr. Lisa Berkman, a public health researcher at Harvard and the director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. “But the kinds of things that cause these changes are enduring and longer term.” 

Berkman continued, saying “It probably reflects exposure on the job for years.” and it’s not necessarily one job.”

“It’s not necessarily one job,” Berkman said. “It’s the relationship among workers. It’s the relationship between a supervisor and a worker or it’s how work is organized.” 

According to the study, employers can keep their employees healthy by being sensitive toward their work-life balance and by giving them a voice in the workplace.

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