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Want to Live Longer? You’ll Find the Key at Work

Mario Tama, Getty Images

Play nice in the sandbox, and you’ll live longer. The results of a study, published in the journal Health Psychology, say that getting along well, and enjoying your coworkers’ company can lead to a longer lifespan.

“We spend most of our waking hours at work, and we don’t have much time to meet our friends during the weekdays,” explains Dr. SharonToker of the Department of Organizational Behavior at Tel Aviv University’s Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration. “Work should be a place where people can get necessary emotional support.”

In a 20-year study, employees who lack coworkers’ emotional support were more likely to die prematurely.

More bar nights? Maybe, but Dr. Toker also suggests using email and instant messaging less, and concentrating more on face-to-face communication. Coffee, informal gatherings and peer-support programs where employees can discuss work issues can help alleviate stress.

Next time you’re about to send an email to a coworker, stop. Get up. Walk thirty steps. Make a personal connection, rather than an electronic one. Maybe it’ll be a step in the right direction, toward adding years to your life.


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