Flexible Work Hours Can Make Your Heart 10 Years Younger

Some intriguing findings to share  regarding the impact of flexible working hours on heart health. A recent study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Penn State University delves into the potential benefits of deviating from the conventional 9-5 routine.

The research suggests that modifying office hours may lead to a remarkable reduction in the risk of heart disease, up to 10 years younger than the traditional routine. This adjustment proved most advantageous for employees over the age of 45 and those already at a higher risk of heart-related issues.

The study encompassed participants from diverse sectors, including an IT company with high-tech workers and a caregiving company with low-wage caregivers. Notably, supervisors received training to support their employees’ work-life balance, emphasizing enhanced control over schedules and tasks.

Co-lead author Lisa Berkman emphasizes the significance of the study, stating, “When stressful workplace conditions and work-family conflict were mitigated, we saw a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease among more vulnerable employees, without any negative impact on their productivity.”

The study measured the health metrics of 1,528 participants initially and after 12 months, taking into account variables such as blood pressure, BMI, glycated hemoglobin, smoking status, and cholesterol levels. While overall interventions didn’t show a significant impact on participants’ cardiometabolic risk scores, those with a higher baseline risk experienced a noticeable reduction, equivalent to aging 5.5 to 10.3 years younger in health terms.

These findings suggest that strategic changes in workplace culture can positively influence employee health without compromising productivity. It’s a call to consider broader implementation of such measures, particularly for workers facing health inequities and with less control over their schedules. Let’s ponder the possibilities of a healthier, heart-smart work environment!

The High Cost of Working in the Office

Photo by Chris Montgomery: Unsplash

Many of us have traded our cozy home offices for the hustle and bustle of in-person work. If you’ve noticed your expenses creeping up, you’re not alone. Owl Labs, a company known for its video-conferencing solutions for hybrid work, recently published its “State of Hybrid Work” report, and the findings won’t shock you if you’ve been frequenting coffee shops and racking up rewards points.

Owl Labs surveyed 2,000 full-time U.S. employees from companies with at least two workers. Here’s the breakdown: 66% are back in the office full-time, 27% are enjoying a mix of office and remote work, and 7% are fully remote. This represents a significant shift from last year when 41% were in the office, 25% were in hybrid roles, and 34% worked remotely.

Let’s focus on the hybrid workers. About 45% are in the office three days a week, 24% for two days, and 7% for just one day. What’s interesting is that 58% of these hybrid workers admit to practicing “coffee badging.” They show up in the morning, grab a coffee, chat for a bit, and then vanish to work from a more comfortable location.

Now, the money talk. When asked what they’d expect if they had to work in the office every day, 29% of hybrid and fully remote workers said they’d want a pay increase to cover the extra costs. Another 28% hoped for free or subsidized food and beverages at the workplace. Their concerns are valid because the survey revealed that these hybrid workers are spending an extra $51 per day compared to working from home. Lunch is the biggest expense at an average of $16 per meal, followed by commuting costs at $14, breakfast and coffee at $13, and parking fees at $8.

On the bright side, think of all the loyalty programs you can now join at cafes and restaurants. Just remember to keep track of them – or not. It’s all part of the experience, and like many of us, you’ll probably forget most of them anyway. Enjoy your caffeinated workdays!