9 Ways Secondhand Stress at Work Could be Affecting Your Health



Headaches are one of the most common side effects you might experience when dealing with secondhand stress. The headaches typically come about as you are thinking about the different issues at work. Like every other area of your body, your brain needs a break from time to time and just needs time to relax. However, when you are stressed, you likely are going a mile a minute and just don’t have the ability to stop thinking about all the work you need to take care of (or the issues causing you stress or secondhand stress in the first place). This is why headaches, and eventually migraines, are a common side effect of stress and why you need to do whatever necessary to lower (or handle) your stress levels.


Upset Stomach

Stress can put all sorts of additional pressure on the stomach. There are two different reasons behind this. First, it simply causes the muscles in and around your digestive tract to tense up, which can give you the upset stomach. Additionally, when you are stressed, you may be inclined to eat poorly, including more processed carbs and sugar. This forces your stomach to work harder in order to digest the food, resulting in an upset stomach.


Elevated Blood Pressure

This is a major issue for individuals who already suffer from elevated blood pressure and other heart conditions. Anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of all adults suffer some health related side effect from stress, and most of these issues have something to do with the cardiovascular system. If you are dealing with stress at the work place make sure to maintain a healthy diet and exercise. This will at least help offset the issues with your blood pressure.


Chest Pain

Right along with elevated blood pressure is experiencing chest pain. Your chest pain might have something to do with different elements related to your elevated stress levels. You might be experiencing acid reflex due to drinking more coffee on the job, or it may cause heart burn. You can also suffer from specific chest pains because of the stress. Whatever it is, when you already have a heart condition, or if it runs in the family, you need to do what you can to keep your stress at lower levels.


Trouble Sleeping

When your head is always spinning, thinking of everything you need to take care of at work, it is going to make it difficult to sleep. This is one of the first side effects you might experience when dealing with secondhand stress in the work place. This is also one of the side effects that can lead to other side effects.


Unable to Perform Sexually

You may start to see a decline in your sexual performance. As you likely have more on your mind, are not sleeping as much and may also have other situations occurring with your cardiovascular system, it can bring down your sexual performance. This is one of the more common side effects you may start to see develop. This is a condition that, while more likely to affect men, can affect both men and women.


Mood Changes

While secondhand stress in the work place can affect your physical health, it also has an impact on your emotional and mental health as well. As stress continues to pile up, you will begin to see more and more of these mood symptoms develop. Anxiety has a common connection with stress. You may also feel restless, which leads to your problem sleeping. From here, though, you can start to develop a lack of focus, become quick to anger and even feel overwhelmed. All of these mood issues can push you into sadness or even depression. This is why, whenever you begin to feel stress, or show early signs of stress, you do what you can to reduce these stress levels. It might mean you need to move on to a different job, or simply take up a gym membership to burn off the stress. Whatever you need to do to reduce your stress levels, make sure you do it.


Behavior Changes

Secondhand stress can have other impacts on your overall health through behavior. Now, some changes in your behavior may not lead to health risks while others might cause a significant increase in health risks. One major change, depending on you and your personality is either overeating or under eating. Some people don’t feel like eating when they are stressed, others consume far more. For those who eat more, it often is unhealthy food, which leads to an increase in heart conditions and other cardiovascular issues. Drug and alcohol abuse, including tobacco use, often increase as well. While alcohol use in moderation may not affect your health, drug use often can, and any kind of tobacco use will see an impact on your health. Plus, many who suffer from secondhand, work related stress may exercise less and withdraw from social events because they simply are not into it.



Fatigue is a direct side effect from secondhand stress at the job. Fatigue can some on from all sorts of different areas. First, you might feel drained because you are not sleeping as much as normally. You may also experience fatigue because you are not eating as much and you just don’t have the necessary calorie intake to get you through the day. There are many associative causes behind fatigue, but most of these causes are directly connected to the secondhand stress you experience at work.