There is a what appears to be a fake news story dating back about 10 years that claims “A medical study has determined that working with idiots is one of the deadliest forms of stress.”
The story originated from Weekly World News, an entertainment tabloid, and it found its way to Yahoo! way back in 2002. Snopes – which bills itself as “the definitive internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors and misinformation” has labeled the story as “FALSE.”
A blinding glimpse of the obvious is there is no such place as “Sweden’s Linbergh University Medical Center” to which the study is attributed.
Yet this content appears to have the half-life of plutonium having appeared in recent years on sites like LinkedIn. We’re surprised it has not found its way into a Trump tweet or White House news conference yet.
But is there a grain of truth in this storyline?
WebMD notes in its listing on “The effects of stress on your body” the following, which may in fact come from working with idiots.
Stress becomes negative (“distress”) when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds.
Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.
Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try to relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.
It gets even more interesting:
- Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
- Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
- Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
- The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.
We like the “10 ways to stop stress now” slideshow from WebMD that can “put stress in its place.”
And we recommend calm co-working environment and these award winning meditation apps as other ways to deal with work-related stress, including working people who aren’t so bright.
Or pick a co-working space that offers regularly scheduled meditation events – like District CoWork.