Job stress on par to being just as dangerous as secondhand smoke: study

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Bosses need to pay attention to what they’re doing to their employees as it has real consequences, and workers need to find ways to reduce stress, or pay the price with their health, according to a look at multiple recent studies on stress in the workplace.

Turns out stress goes far beyond being just an annoyance: it's literally making us sick. And for one in five of us, it's so bad that's it's upping our chances for an early death.

That means that job stress is on par with being just as dangerous as secondhand smoke.

A study by the Harvard Business School and Standford University found if your job demands a lot of you, it increases your odds of having an illness diagnosed by a doctor by 35 percent. Add long work hours into the mix and it gets really bad: your chances of dying early increase by 20 percent. And if you're worried you could lose your job, that'll mean your chances of having just overall poor health jump by 50 percent.

Take a look at what employees are saying about their lives at work is not the most upbeat picture on this Labor Day. A survey conducted by found 70 percent of workers don't love their job. Adding to the problem is more than half of those workers clock in more than 40 hours a week. Managers are cited for the reason that 50 percent of us have left a job, and it's looking pretty dismal when 90 percent say we only occasionally feel appreciated on the job.

But here's something that may brighten up our day: more of us are about to get more paid sick leave. President Barack Obama is expected to announce in Boston on Monday that all employees of federal contractors will get mandatory sick leave of seven days a year. The executive order will have employees earning an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work.

The new law won't go into effect for contracts until 2017, which is just as Obama leaves office. It's estimated 44 million workers don't get paid leave.