Like everything in life, there is a trade-off, in this case, men who strive and gain success run the risk of having poor health in later life.
No one has a crystal ball and a lot of men good have great health in later life and have still have been very successful.
But the law of averages would favour that middle-aged men run a higher risk of poor health if they ignore the signs that not everything is as it should be.
So the question which still needs to be answered is –Have Middle-aged Men Traded Their Health For Success?
I would say yes.
A more important question should be why are men willing to trade their health for success?
There is no easy or one answer to why.
Because on the face of it they have a choice or do they?
Some people may say you always have a choice.
When it comes to your health there is a need for balance between work and pleasure.
Normally a man knows the value of his health and its value when it’s lost
But how many men have learnt from experience and the risks of long hours and long periods of stress.?
How many men actually say “no”- How many times have you stayed late or worked late nights and over the weekend?
And for what? Have we become so used to saying yes to work overload simply to please the boss, as we feel that if we go home early that our chances of success and promotion may be harmed if we don’t show commitment.
And what toll this takes not only on our own health both physical and mental but think of the damage it inflicts on your family.
So What Are The Consequences of Neglecting Your Health Simply For Success?
Let’s break this down into the two main areas of health
- Your mental health
- Your physical health
First your mental health.
As men, we like to be seen as strong-minded and in control of our emotions, I suppose it’s a sign of masculine strength that we can cope with all situations.
But when things start to get on top of us or overwhelmed by our emotions we tend to deny them and to cover them up, which is the worst thing we can do
But depression is now a serious problem in the working place and effects many of us at some point in our lives.
While depression can take a heavy toll on your home and work life, you don’t have to tough it out.
There are plenty of things you can start doing today to feel better.
So what is male depression?
Depression in men is a treatable health condition, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity.
It doesn’t discriminate, it affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds. Of course, it’s normal for anyone to feel down from time to time—dips in mood are an ordinary reaction to losses, setbacks, and disappointments in life.
However, male depression changes how you think, feel, and react to situations and your daily life.
Depression in the workplace is now common which affects your productivity and impacts your relationships with fellow workers.
Severe depression can be intense and unrelenting.
Unfortunately, depression in men often gets overlooked as many of us find it difficult to talk about our feelings.
Instead, we tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany male depression.
Symptoms include general aches and pains to loss of sleep and sexual problems.
This can result in the underlying depression going untreated, which can have serious consequences.
Men suffering from depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.
So it’s vital for any man to seek help with depression before feelings of despair become feelings of suicide.
Talk honestly with a friend, loved one, or doctor about what’s going on in your mind as well as your body.
Once correctly diagnosed, there is plenty you can do to successfully treat and manage male depression and prevent it from coming back.
In his book, Undoing Depression Richard O’Connor teaches how to replace depressive patterns with a new and more effective set of skills.
We already know how to “do” depression-and we can learn how to undo it.
With a truly holistic approach that synthesizes the best of the many schools of thought about this painful disease, O’Connor offers new hope-and new life-for sufferers of depression
The research carried out by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and The Huffington Post UK, and released as part of the Building Modern Men campaign, highlights how men struggle differently to women in life and specifically to mental health problems.
CALM’s latest Masculinity Audit reveals that men are not only less likely than women to open up to friends about being depressed.
They’re also more likely to exhibit risk-taking behaviour and feel more frustrated at life’s challenges, like losing a job.
Launched ahead of International Men’s Day, the audit details how barely half of men who admitted to feeling “very depressed” had told anyone about it, compared with 67% of women who did, bringing to light a parallel gender difference in how men and women respond to life’s low points.
The findings coincide with new UK-wide statistics, compiled by CALM and HuffPost UK, that reveal suicide remains the single biggest killer of British males under the age of 45.
The data shows that over 4,500 men kill themselves every year in Britain, with men three times more likely than women to take their own lives.
Experts believe the audit highlights how men lack the “language” to talk about their mental health, meaning doctors may be failing to spot key danger signs.
Stress in The Work Place
There have been numerous studies which show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American men and that it has increased at a progressive rate over the past few decades.
Increased levels of job stress as assessed by the perception of having little control but lots of demands have been demonstrated to be associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.
A recent study by AIS, (The American Institute of Stress) found the main causes of stress at work is shown in this simple pie chart.
Stress affects people in different ways and its a very sweeping statement to put every occupation in the same area and can vary widely even in identical situations for different reasons.
Some workers are better than others in how they handle paperwork or deal with customers within the store and that’s a different type of stress to work overload.
One survey showed that having to complete paperwork was more stressful for many police officers than the dangers associated with pursuing criminals.
The severity of job stress depends on the magnitude of the demands that are being made and the individual’s sense of control or decision-making latitude he or she has in dealing with them.
Having high levels of stress on a continuous basis are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
The Seventh Annual Labour Day Report came up with these findings which paint a very worrying picture within the American workplace.
Highlighted statistics from the report:
- 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help
- 14% of respondents had felt like striking a coworker in the past year, but didn’t
- 25% have felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress, 10% are concerned about an individual at work they fear could become violent
- 9% are aware of an assault or violent act in their workplace and 18% had experienced some sort of threat or verbal intimidation in the past year
In his book Undoing Perpetual Stress, Richard OConnor writes about the consequences of “perpetual” stress in our lives – the alarming and escalating rates of clinical anxiety and depression.
The book goes into great detail but at the same is written in a very simple way that you can understand and put into practice.
This book is a perfect fit if you want to learn a lot about the brain and physiology of stress.
If you’re looking for a quick read and pick-me-up, this isn’t it.
Your Physical Health.
In the US, there is no clear law governing the number of hours worked, and employers can generally demand that employees work as many hours as the employer wants.
In some cases, however, an employer has to pay an employee for working overtime.
The Fair Labor Standards Act, which was signed into law in 1938, says that an employee who works more than 40 hours a week must be paid time and a half, which is understood as their regular hourly wage plus 50%.
Compared to other countries, the US falls more or less in the middle when it comes to average hours worked per week, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
In a 2014 OECD survey, the US ranked 16 out 36 countries, putting in 34.4 hours of work each week.
Mexican workers toiled the most, logging 42.85 hours, while Germany was last, with a typical workweek of just 26.37 hours.
But figures differ, and according to a 2014 Gallup poll, half of all full-time workers in the US said they generally work more than 40 hours a week, and nearly four in ten said they put in at least 50 hours.
In the UK you can’t work more than 48 hours a week on average – normally averaged over 17 weeks.
This law is sometimes called the ‘working time directive’ or ‘working time regulations’.
You can choose to work more by opting out of the 48-hour week.
So if you are spending a large amount of time at work the chances are that you are neglecting the physical side of your well being.
Guidelines laid out by the NHS suggest that to stay healthy, adults aged 19-64 should try to be active daily and should do:
- at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week, and
- strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
So, if are spending more than 8 hours a day at work and doing hours over the weekend how can you expect to have a balanced work life and home life?
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Its annual Health at a Glance report, published on Friday, shows that 26.9% of the UK population had a body mass index of 30 and above, the official definition of obesity, in 2015.
Only five of the OECD’s 35 member states had higher levels of obesity, with four outside Europe and one in eastern Europe.
The State of Obesity a project conducted by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reported
that in the US eighty percent of American adults do not meet the government’s national physical activity recommendations for aerobic activity and muscle strengthening.
Around 45 percent of adults are not sufficiently active to achieve health benefits.
Good health is your path to success?
There are several benefits of a healthy life.
Your body becomes free from various forms of disorders and thus, you get a longer life.
You can live a life without suffering from any aches, pain, or discomfort.
In every sphere of your life, you will be able to perform to the best of your ability.
Doing excellent work helps you to be a valuable member of a healthy society. Besides, when you are physically fit, it gets reflected on your face.
So, you look attractive and start feeling good about yourself! If you have a fit body, then you can lead a physically active life even after growing old.
This is because; the body can heal the regular wear and tear associated with ageing faster.
In short, health and wellness bring about a drastic improvement in the overall quality of your life.
This was posted on Quora relating to health and success question.
See if you can answer the question honestly. Both are based on real people.