THE EFFORT-REWARD IMBALANCE
Regardless of whether you enjoy your job or not, you put in a lot of physical, emotional, and mental effort into it.
When all of that effort is rewarded, you feel great. But when you don’t get the pay, promotion, or award that you think you deserve, you suffer as a result.
This is known as the effort-reward imbalance (ERI).
ERI isn’t some fanciful model of workplace stress. It’s legitimate.
In fact, it’s been used to accurately predict everything from the number of missed days at work to depression.
So what does this model have to say about hypertension (high blood pressure)?
In other words, if you put in a lot of effort at work but you don’t get rewarded for it, are you at higher risk of getting high blood pressure?
HOW THE EFFORT-REWARD IMBALANCE AFFECTS YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE*
MANAGING STRESS AT WORK IN ORDER TO LOWER YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
There are many things you can do to address the effort-reward imbalance. Not all of the available strategies will work for everyone. It’s a matter of finding the combination that works best for you in your current situation.
Research suggests that the following might help some people:
- Set aside at least one day a week where you relax. This means no work, no house chores, and no personal errands.
- Use a smartphone biofeedback app to help you manage your stress.
- Get enough uninterrupted sleep every night. This may require you to adjust the time you go to bed, the temperature in your room, and other factors to ensure you get the best sleep possible.
- Talk to your manager about a flexible work arrangement. This could mean coming in or leaving at better times of the day to minimize the amount of time you spend in traffic. Or, it may mean working remotely from home.
- In more serious cases of work-related stress, you may need to disconnect from work for several weeks in order to restore your mental well-being. There may be no other way around it.
Male and female workers from around the world. Ages 15 to 71. This includes blue collar and white collar workers.
TYPES OF STUDIES
Observational, 3 of which were prospective.
These findings are backed by moderate quality data. In other words: these findings are reasonably accurate.
For references, please click here.