Bad bosses have long been associated with stress, dismal office atmosphere and generally feeling of unhappiness but a new study has found it’s also harmful to an employee’s health.
According to the Daily Mail the research, which is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that the stress of working for a difficult boss over a substantial amount of time causes serious harm.
Researchers found that chronic stress changes the gene activity in immune cells. This leads to the cells being primed to fight an infection that doesn’t exist. As a consequence it leads to inflammation in the body which is associated to health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Ohio State University scientists made the discovery while studying mice while their colleagues found the same issue in immune cells in blood tests from chronically stressed people living in poor areas.
“The cells share many of the same characteristics in terms of their response to stress,’ Dr John Sheridan, associate director of Ohio State University's Institute for Behavioural Medicine Research, and co-lead author of the study, told the Daily Mail.
“There is a stress-induced alteration in the bone marrow in both our mouse model and in chronically stressed humans that selects for a cell that's going to be pro-inflammatory. So what this suggests is that if you're working for a really bad boss over a long period of time, that experience may play out at the level of gene expression in your immune system.”
Research into how exactly stress harms health is on-going.