An unpleasant boss is injurious to your health

A new study concludes that non-pedagogical supervisors stresses their employees into unhealthy hypertension.

A British study of 28 nurse assistants working under various supervisors during different shifts showed that their systolic blood pressure (the working pressure of the heart) rose by 15 mm Hg and their diastolic blood pressure (resting pressure) rose by 7 mm Hg when working under an unpopular supervisor compared to a more popular one.

A control group working under the same supervisor or under two supervisors who were evaluated equally had a difference of only 3 mm Hg in the systolic blood pressure and no significant rise in the diastolic blood pressure.

The study originates from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College and the authors conclude that such a sustained elevation in blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks by 16% and the risk of stroke by 33%.

N Wager, G Fieldman, and T Hussey. The effect on ambulatory blood pressure of working under favourably and unfavourably perceived supervisors. Occup Environ Med 2003 60: 468-474.