Bringing work stress home? Try this

Bringing work stress home? Try this

What’s following you on your commute home from work?

For many, it’s work stress. While this may seem perfectly normal, the real question might be whether you let your work stress follow you home and affect your behavior.

New research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology concludes that sleep and exercise are key to keeping your work stress from spilling over into harmful behavior at home.

“Typically, any job is going to be stressful,” says Dr. Kevin Krippner, licensed clinical psychologist with Advocate Medical Group in Bloomington, Ill. “Often, people find that when they are carrying stress home from work, they are more likely to yell at someone about tripping over shoes in the entryway or a poor test score at school, etc.”

Business management professor Shannon Taylor wanted to see if sleep and exercise would decrease the likelihood of poor or abusive behavior at home.

“Research shows employees who are mistreated at work are likely to engage in similar behaviors at home,” Taylor said in a release. “Our study shows that happens because they’re too tired to regulate their behavior.”

Taylor’s study tracked the sleep and exercise patterns of 118 MBA students with full- time jobs. The findings showed that those who recorded an average of more than 10,900 steps each day were less likely to perpetuate abuse at home than those recording fewer than 7,000.

“Exercise is a great method of stress management,” says Dr. Krippner. “You can combine it with other therapeutic activities like being outside and socializing with others to feel less stressed.”

So, the next time you feel the shadow of work stress following you, consider a brisk walk around the neighborhood and turning in for the night a little earlier.

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About the Author

Lynn Hutley
Lynn Hutley

Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.