When you think stress, almost everyone thinks work, but your body appears to behave otherwise. The levels of stress hormone cortisol are more apt to go up when you’re at home according to research appearing in the journal Social Science & Medicine. That’s right, the average cortisol levels of both men and women, single or married, childless or not, were lower at work.
How can this be? Work is the place where the phone won’t stop ringing, emails are jamming your inbox, there’s a schedule packed with meetings, unending responsibility with shrinking support… working is hard, there’s no doubt about it. When you’re at home there’s plenty of thankless, difficult tasks to do as well… housekeeping, yard work, meal preparation, cleaning, laundry, child care… being at home is not an easy road, despite what Hollywood and the media might have you believe.
The good news is that there are aspects of work that are good for us. And there are things we do at work that might work well at home too.
To conduct this most recent work on stress, researchers from Penn State University used subject-supplied samples of saliva to keep track of the cortisol levels of 122 healthy adults from a midsize northeastern city in the U.S. All were over 18 and reported working out of the home five days per week anywhere from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. The subjects were taught how to swab the inside of a check for samples, and given a palm device that reminded them to do this, six times each day. At these times, they also reported their location, how stressed they felt and how happy they felt. The team looked at cortisol only, no other hormones were studied.
Surprisingly, even to the researchers, was the finding that stress levels were far higher while subjects were at home then they were at the office. Both men and women sowed this result, though women were more likely to report feeling happier at work, men felt happier at home. Occupation made no difference in work/home stress levels. Being married or single also didn’t affect the result, or even if a subject reported liking the job or not. This effect was even more obvious for low-income earners and those without kids.
What’s more, the only subjects who didn’t have lower levels of cortisol at work (levels stayed the same as at home) were those earning over $75,000 per year. This number might be higher in a city where the cost of living is higher.
1 Quick Technique To Burn More Fat
Here’s Your Free Presentation To Discover:
The 1 sneaky technique to trick our bodies to burn more fat…
How a tasty little dish eaten late at night actually boosted the most powerful fat loss hormone in our bodies while you sleep…
Click through here now to discover how to burn more fat quicker today…
*Disclosure: compensated affiliate*
Surprise: You’re More Stressed At Home Continued…
Also, while both parents and adults without children were both less stressed at work, the difference was bigger for those without kids. This may be because most parents bring some home stress in to work with them. It also may be that the job of children helps relieve some of the natural stress of the home.
Even so, the participants in the study reported feeling more stressed on workdays than on days when they stayed at home.
We do know that there’s lots of research linking a steady job to higher rates of both physical and mental health. Our culture puts a very high value on tasks that are completed for professional or financial reasons, compared to the things you do at home, unseen and unpaid. The sense of satisfaction from taking part in tasks that are culturally valued may in part explain the drop in stress. Also we get better at a job over time – meaning less tress, more rewards.
When it comes to parenting, marriage, or the things we do at home, not many of us feel like an expert. Our efforts here go unnoticed, unpaid.
If you can manage it, a flexible work schedule is a big key to bringing down stress and enhancing your feelings of well-being. This works far more effectively than cutting off professional ties and staying home.
To your good health,