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Stress Explains Paradox of Why Work Exercise Worsens Heart Disease

Investigators followed the physical activity of 500 middle-aged employees while monitoring progression of their atherosclerosis. They found that while arteries thickened more slowly in those who exercised more during their leisure time, arteries actually thickened faster among those who were very physically active during the workday.

But when the researchers measured psychological stress related to work (asking how much sleep participants lost over worries about work, for example) they found an interesting connection. They found that atherosclerosis progressed significantly faster in people with greater stress, and people who were under more stress also were the ones who exercised more in their jobs.

Further evidence of the importance of exercise. I have long believed that stress causes more heart attacks than French fries and smoking. Fortunately, there are inexpensive and effective solutions like Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). You can view my 25-page, free EFT report if you are interested.

American Journal of Medicine July 2003;115(1):19-25

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