Does Work Burnout Impact on Weight Control?

The World Health Organization (“WHO”) recently classified work-related burnout/stress as a syndrome.   According to WHO, burnout is characterized by "feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and reduced professional efficacy."

I would venture a guess that almost everyone reading this, at times, has felt sensations of this work-related burnout.  No matter what the occupation, we all experience times when work almost takes over our lives, allowing very little time for ourselves.

Long-term weight control requires focus on one’s self.  Planning, counting portions, finding time to exercise…these and more are more or less mandatory requirements for weight control success.  When work is all-consuming, there is almost no way a person with chronic weight control struggles can exert control over this situation.

The reality of life is such that we all need to generate the resources needed to achieve/sustain the quality of life we want to live.  However, a huge part of that “quality of life” is having good health.  The resources generated by working can buy you the Mercedes, the $1 million dollar house and the family vacation to Greece BUT thin of that old expression:  “Money cannot buy you health.”

If you find yourself in a spiraling negative health situation from the work you are doing, take the steps needed to correct this situation.  This may involve having a frank discussion with your boss about how your health is being negatively impacted by the current work status and things need to change or even look for a new position.

When I have patients tell me about how the exhaustive work requirements are negatively impacting on their weight control, I ask them to take a step back and ask themselves this question:  If, God forbid, a catastrophic health issue occurred causing you to not be able to work, would the company/department you are working for close down?  Would the government shut down?  No, the answer is that the show would go on without you.  The entity (government or private company) would simply find the next “cog in the machine” to place into the system.  And, great chances that the next poor sucker will develop the same burnout and negative health issues from the overwork.

Be your own health advocate.  Do not allow work burnout to hurt your chances for better health and happiness.

Author
Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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